Monday, September 11, 2006

Marine Corps Chief of Intelligence; Situation called Dire in West Iraq

Situation Called Dire in West Iraq:
Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 11, 2006; A01

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, 'We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost.'

The 'very pessimistic' statement, as one Marine officer called it, was dated Aug. 16 and sent to Washington shortly after that, and has been discussed across the Pentagon and elsewhere in national security circles. 'I don't know if it is a shock wave, but it's made people uncomfortable,' said a Defense Department official who has read the report. Like others interviewed about the report, he spoke on the condition that he not be identified by name because of the document's sensitivity."

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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