Breaking News: The Pentagon Hates America

A harsh assessment from the National Defense University:

The war in Iraq has become “a major debacle” and the outcome “is in doubt” despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon’s premier military educational institute.

The report released by the National Defense University raises fresh doubts about President Bush’s projections of a U.S. victory in Iraq just a week after Bush announced that he was suspending U.S. troop reductions.

The report carries considerable weight because it was written by Joseph Collins, a former senior Pentagon official, and was based in part on interviews with other former senior defense and intelligence officials who played roles in prewar preparations.

It was published by the university’s National Institute for Strategic Studies, a Defense Department research center.

“Measured in blood and treasure, the war in Iraq has achieved the status of a major war and a major debacle,” says the report’s opening line.

Enough about the Iraq thing. Does Joseph Collins wear flag lapel pins? And while we are at it, place your bets on who will be the first to call the National Defense University a rogue leftist outfit that just has BDS.

In all seriousness, I know what the response will be, and it will probably come from the Weekly Standard or another arm of the neo-con wing of the GOP- this is all pushback from the bloated fiefdoms within the Pentagon who wish to discredit Rumsfeld’s leaner military approach. Or something like that. And, in fairness, there is some element of that in the report (PDF). That doesn’t take away from the overall assessment, though, and that is that Iraq is and will most likely remain a disaster (pay special attention to the Errors in decisionmaking and execution starting on page 16).

*** Update ***

Joe Collins says the report is being mis-characterized. Again, I suggest you read it for yourself (.pdf), as it is not very long.






25 replies
  1. 1
    The Moar You Know says:

    Somebody get me a report on Collins’ countertops, stat.

  2. 2
    nightjar says:

    Mr. Collins was assisted by professor Leary, world renowned expert on military debacles and the new-cons who love them.

    I just can’t be serious today.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    In all seriousness, I know what the response will be, and it will probably come from the Weekly Standard or another arm of the neo-con wing of the GOP- this is all pushback from the bloated fiefdoms within the Pentagon who wish to discredit Rumsfeld’s leaner military approach. Or something like that.

    Wait, do wingnuts still recognize that Donald Rumsfeld ever existed? I thought they were keeping him under wraps until 2009, when he can re-emerge as the Oliver North voice of experience on FOX News.

    Seriously, I doubt the right-wing blogs and blowhards will even acknowledge the report was released. They didn’t give a damn about the GAO military wasteful spending report or the various investigations into the DoJ meltdown. This’ll be an event that never happened as far as they are concerned.

  4. 4
    nightjar says:

    Oops, I’m not fully awake. again Dr. Leary.

  5. 5
    Z says:

    My suspicion is that the right wing blogs will be silent for a while. It takes a while to inspect counter tops and find distant relationships between the reports authors and somebody who said or acted in a way that could be misconstrued as vaguely anti-American.

  6. 6
    vwcat says:

    I am guessing Hannity to be the first. Billo is too slow on the uptake.
    NDU is a leftist incubator…ha

  7. 7
    Dork says:

    Does Joseph Collins wear flag lapel pins?

    It gets worse — he drinks OJ off his marble countertops. Discredited City. Might as well be Hitler writing that report.

  8. 8
    Teak111 says:

    Wingnuts, GOP, Weekly Standard….yawn.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    /readjusts tin-foil hat

    Anyone besides me see this as more pushback by the military against what they must percieve as “sure thing” that we’re going to attack Iran in the next few months?

    Reading this, it looks like something from a DKos diary. Really, it’s damming. I see this as the military saying, “hey, we’re fucked, you (Bush) fucked us, so quit trying to fuck us again later this summer. Our ass hurts, and the lube’s been gone for quite some time”…

  10. 10
    w vincentz says:

    This is off topic, but I post the link for those that would like to know how to make serious coinage during these trying finacial times:

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    W Vincentz, before you post another hyperlink, go read this.

    You are going to make me scream if you queer another thread with a bad link.

  12. 12
    Cassidy says:

    Anyone besides me see this as more pushback by the military against what they must percieve as “sure thing” that we’re going to attack Iran in the next few months?

    Reading this, it looks like something from a DKos diary. Really, it’s damming. I see this as the military saying, “hey, we’re fucked, you (Bush) fucked us, so quit trying to fuck us again later this summer. Our ass hurts, and the lube’s been gone for quite some time”…

    I don’t believe Iran is imminent. The simple fact is we can’t. We no longer have the manpower or resources.

  13. 13
    nightjar says:

    The Gazafication of Iraq. These nutbags think this will help the situation. It’s building Iraq into a huge bomb in and of itself. When it goes off, the Apocalypse is on.

  14. 14
    nightjar says:

    And I know the military is just trying to protect lives, especially GI’s. But in the long run, it’s still a nutty thing to do, I thinks.

  15. 15
    w vincentz says:

    John Cole,
    I am very sorry.
    Thank you for telling me how to do it correctly.
    I meant no harm and am truly apologetic.
    W

  16. 16
    LITBMueller says:

    I don’t believe Iran is imminent. The simple fact is we can’t. We no longer have the manpower or resources.

    heh. Missiles drive themselves…

  17. 17
    Rick Taylor says:

    I already know what McCain’s response will because he already gave it during the hardball college tour.

    We can look back at the past and argue about whether we should have gone to war or not, whether we should have invaded or not, and that’s a good academic argument. But we’re there now, and the question is, is what we do in the future.

    I remember thinking before the war started that we would get bogged down, and that the supporters would argue, forget about whether it was a good idea or not, we’re there now and leaving would be a disaster. The above study offers some ammunition to people who want to make that argument as well,

    The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s future stability said that a rapid withdrawal ‘almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation.’ The NIE goes on to say that neighboring countries might intervene, resulting in massive casualties and refugee flows.’ No one has calculated the psychological impact of a perceived defeat on the U.C. reputation for power or the future of the overall war on terror.

  18. 18
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Then there’s this RAND Study that reports one in five returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or severe depression. Roughly half of them have sought treatment. Of those who did seek treatment only half received minimally adequate help.

    This study hasn’t received any play in the press because of the all-important flag lapel pin issue.

  19. 19
    nightjar says:

    w vincentz Says:

    John Cole,
    I am very sorry.
    Thank you for telling me how to do it correctly.
    I meant no harm and am truly apologetic.
    W

    As a member of the techno challenged generation, I want to say I hate computers and all their silly workings.

    It’s as easy as falling off a log, a few hundred times in my case. Good luck.

  20. 20
    w vincentz says:

    Nightjar,
    Thanks for reassuring me. I am indeed a computer retard.
    It took me quite a while to even realize that when I pushed one of the buttons and the cup holder came out…it was like… really? That’s not a cup holder? What’s it for then?
    What? You load cd’s into that thing?

  21. 21

    […] McClatchy reports (as does this newspaper) that ‘[t]he war in Iraq has become “a major debacle” and the outcome “is in doubt” despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon’s premier military educational institute.’ Balloon Juice, Daily Kos, and sites like it, all weigh in, claiming that they were right about Iraq, that all is lost, and so on. The only problem? They’re full of […]. […]

  22. 22
    Tony J says:

    The response will be GOP SOP, as in;

    1) “We think that report is plain wrong.”

    2) ………………………………..

    3) “That report has already been widely discredited. (see 1)”

    4) “Shut up! That’s why!”

  23. 23
    Tsulagi says:

    I don’t believe Iran is imminent. The simple fact is we can’t. We no longer have the manpower or resources.

    You’re thinking rationally, always a handicap when predicting this administration’s actions.

    However, in one way I also don’t think Iran is imminent. Bush has already achieved his main objective of being able to pass on this, as this report correctly termed, debacle and also blame to the next guy. We will be in Iraq with sizable force when he leaves office. Any threat to that scenario was put to rest by the Dems after the midterms.

    Bush is probably already deep in happy thought about his party time next year. But still, there is that idiot Cheney and the other seriously mentally deficient adults in the admin you know would like to push that button one more time before they leave. Can just see them talking to Bush in between his fart jokes in the Oval Office: “No worries, Iran might take six days, maybe six weeks, but we’re sure it won’t take longer than six months.” They see the big picture.

  24. 24
    Tony J says:

    Then again, there’s the nagging feeling that El Residente would like nothing more than to drop an ongoing air-campaign against Iran into the lap of the next President, whoever it is.

    “Think you can say I fucked up Eye-Rak, do ya? Well, fuck ya. Here’s a shit-sandwich you can call your own, Mister or Mrs Smartass. Let’s see how you do.”

    I wouldn’t put it past him, would you?

  25. 25

    […] Of course, the usual suspects in the Leftosphere ran with the distorted McClatchy story.  TPM’s Paul Kiel named it a “must read” — as opposed to the study itself, even though he linked it.  Spencer Ackerman did an update post that does not link back to the original.  ThinkProgress buries the link in its story, giving no indication that Collins is calling the story a distortion.  The Carpetbagger Report simply parroted ThinkProgress.  John Cole, to his credit, did a pretty straightforward update, though he might have mentioned that the study is not a NDU study and that most of it covers 2002-04, as opposed to telling his readers to read the study themselves.  Curiously, the main post makes clear that Cole read the study, but he did not link to it until the update. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Of course, the usual suspects in the Leftosphere ran with the distorted McClatchy story.  TPM’s Paul Kiel named it a “must read” — as opposed to the study itself, even though he linked it.  Spencer Ackerman did an update post that does not link back to the original.  ThinkProgress buries the link in its story, giving no indication that Collins is calling the story a distortion.  The Carpetbagger Report simply parroted ThinkProgress.  John Cole, to his credit, did a pretty straightforward update, though he might have mentioned that the study is not a NDU study and that most of it covers 2002-04, as opposed to telling his readers to read the study themselves.  Curiously, the main post makes clear that Cole read the study, but he did not link to it until the update. […]

  2. […] McClatchy reports (as does this newspaper) that ‘[t]he war in Iraq has become “a major debacle” and the outcome “is in doubt” despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon’s premier military educational institute.’ Balloon Juice, Daily Kos, and sites like it, all weigh in, claiming that they were right about Iraq, that all is lost, and so on. The only problem? They’re full of […]. […]

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