Friday, September 7, 2007

More Reports of Iraq: Day 1

Headline: "Study: Iraqi Security Forces Not Ready."

Lead paragraph: "WASHINGTON Iraq's security forces have made 'uneven progress' and will be unable to take over security on their own in the next 12 to 18 months, according to an independent assessment."

It's a CBS News synopsis of a 37-page report that Congress had retired Gen. James Jones, and a panel, make. It's one of several "independent studies" that Congress ordered, back in May.

I don't know if General Jones' study is quite what the people in Congress wanted. It says that the Iraqi military, especially the army, shows "clear evidence of developing the baseline infrastructures that lead to the successful formation of a national defense capability." At least, that's what CBS News reported.

On a more familiar note, the article says that "Baghdad's police force and Ministry of Interior are plagued by 'dysfunction.'" "In any event, the ISF will be unable to fulfill their essential security responsibilities independently over the next 12-18 months," which seems likely enough.

Another "independent report," this one from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), runs a hundred pages, and is presumably an update of one that the the GAO delivered back in July.

According to CBS News, the new-and-improved GAO report says that "Iraq had not met 11 of 18 political and security goals - a blunt assessment that challenges President Bush's findings on the war as he prepares to announce plans for the U.S. military campaign."

I've been a scholar, and I've handled information in a business setting. I learned long ago that it's best to listen to what people say a document says, and then read the document.

The General Jones report is available at Center Strategic and International Studies, or CIS. I'm downloading it, and the GAO report. They're available atIt's almost 1 in the morning in my time zone, and recent experiences have taught me that it's unwise to try the sort of all-nighters I pulled, back in the seventies.

So, I'll have to get back to this tomorrow. Later today, actually.

In the meantime, I recommend that you read the reports. From past experience, I'd say that you'll probably find things that don't show up in the news.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.