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General needs until November to assess Iraq

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ConcordCowboy, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    General needs until November to assess Iraq


    Odierno tells lawmaker it’s too soon to gauge the impact of troop ‘surge’

    Updated: 3:46 a.m. PT July 20, 2007
    WASHINGTON - For months September has been cast as a pivotal time for determining the course of the war in Iraq, yet a top general now says a solid judgment on the U.S. troop buildup there may not come until November.

    Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters after a Senate hearing Thursday that he would need beyond September to tell if improvements in Iraq represent long-term trends.

    “In order to do a good assessment I need at least until November,” said Odierno, a deputy to Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq.

    Petraeus and other officials testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and briefed reporters on Thursday. Making strides toward security and political goals could take more time than first thought, they warned.

    A stark assessment came via video link from the Iraqi capital when Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador, told the committee that Iraq is gripped by fear and struggling to meet security and political goals by September.

    “If there is one word, I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq — on the streets, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods and at the national level — that word would be ‘fear,”’ Crocker said. “For Iraq to move forward at any level, that fear is going to have to be replaced with some level of trust and confidence and that is what the effort at the national level is about.”

    Sen. Collins: ‘I’m not optimistic’
    Most lawmakers have hoped that Iraq would show more signs of stability this summer, long before the 2008 U.S. elections. Republicans in particular have thought that, if substantial gains could not be found by September, then President Bush would have to rethink his military strategy, which relies on 158,000 U.S. troops.

    “I’m not optimistic,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of the September assessment. She spoke after attending a classified briefing at the Pentagon by Petraeus and Crocker.

    The Bush administration has tried to minimize the importance of the progress report due in September, trying to make clear it is not the final judgment. Beyond that, the administration is saying U.S. forces will play a role in Iraq through the end of Bush’s presidency, in January 2009.

    Some 50 House members and 40 senators took buses to the Pentagon for separate question-and-answer sessions with Crocker and Petraeus. Lawmakers said they were told that the political process was moving slowly and that it would be very difficult for Iraq to meet its 18 reform goals in the next 45 days.

    Crocker downplays benchmarks
    In his Senate testimony, Crocker played down the importance of meeting major changes right away and said less ambitious goals, such as restoring electricity to a neighborhood, can be just as beneficial. He also pointed toward political headway at the local level and said agreements there may inspire further cooperation among sects.

    The much-cited benchmarks “do not serve as reliable measures of everything that is important — Iraqi attitudes toward each other and their willingness to work toward political reconciliation,” he said.

    Crocker also warned against a withdrawal of U.S. troops. He contended that such a move could increase sectarian attacks and create a “comfortable operating environment” for al-Qaida.

    © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  2. Vintage

    Vintage The Cult of Jib

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    If we pulled out, there would be a mass civil war in Iraq. It would probably border on genocide.

    IIRC, the makeup of Iraq is 60/40 (in favor of Shi'a). Saddam was Sunni and oppressed both the Kurds and Shi'a during his 'tenure' as President.

    The Shiites would love to be back in power and return the favor.

    Saudi Arabia, at one point, threatened intervention if the U.S. backed out. Obviously, Saudi Arabia would be interested in doing so as they are predominately a Sunni based country and would want to ensure the safety of those following their denomination.

    I guess, basically, what I am trying to say, is that like the Bush administration....I got no answer.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Some cynics would say: let them kill each other. When no one is left we go in and take the oil.
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Not really a big shocker they will wait longer.

    Not a big shocker that there is already talk of a second surge.

    Even Tony snow says that the Iraqi Government, you know the ones that are failing on the "report card" are probably going to take the month of August off....because it is hot in August.

    No...I am not joking Tony Snow actually said that.
  5. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Sorry but who is Tony Snow?
  6. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    He said that w/ tongue in cheek. He was making a point that the Iraqi Govt is still continuing to not act as a whole.

    They would rather take time off in August than deal with the terrible situations that are occuring in the country.

    Take time off in August - you know - because its hot in August. Har Har !

    I actually enjoy Snow a lot. He is an extremely intelligent dude.

    To be honest - Bush could not have picked anyone better than Snow to be Press Secretary.
  7. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    White House Press Secretary
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Tongue in cheek or not he repeated it and was getting annoyed with the questions.

    They are taking time off and he even said it gets to be 130 degrees.

    Actually it makes no difference if they are taking time off because it is hot or because they had to open up cases of new fruit of the loom undies the USA was sending them.

    It was the idea that the iraqi "report card" was bad and the good things on it were mostly our military things. That we were going to wait on a report from the General and the ambassador yet these guys (iraqi government) were taking time off.

    This IMO is what is wrong with Iraq. It is not the job our troops are doing. It is the job the Iraqi government and troops are doing...or should I say NOT doing.

    We are putting our soldiers in danger, getting ours soldiers injured, getting out soldiers killed, racking up huge amounts of money, borrowing huge amounts of money, dividing our own country and all of it because the Iraqis can't basically get their crap together.
  9. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    I was in Persian Gulf and Kuwait during "Desert Storm" and that region gets extremely hot during those months. The temp exceeded 100 degree with 100% humidity...nearly unbearable.
  10. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Yes but as I said...whether Tony was joking or not, that is really not the issue. It was about them taking time off for any reason when they are the biggest hold up in this whole thing.

    On a side note...when you were over there did they let YOU take the month of august off? Do you think they would let the current troops take the month of August off?

    So if it was serious it was pretty stupid if it was a joke it was pretty stupid.

    It is the whole idea that the Iraqis that are what is really hurting any kind of victory for their country.

    It will get to the point, as it is already moving there, to where we just have to say...you know what, if you can't help yourselves we can not help you either.
  11. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    Well, all I can say is, ME people have their way of doing things, it maybe strange to us but to them that is the norm. Lot of times when we needed them, they would drop everything to go pray, their pace of work was very slow, it was frustrating working with them, it was kind of like dealing with union workers at my company (no offense to union labors).

    I could certainly see Iraqis taking time off during August even in their situation, whether Snow was joking or not, I don't agree with it but based on my experiences at ME, I could see it.
  12. windward

    windward NFL Historian

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    And that's the crux of the whole problem do we stay on, spinning our wheels in the air because the Iraqi govt can't agree on anything or do we withdraw and risk further destabilizing the region?

    Count me in on not having a solution to this quagmire of a war.

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