Why Do We Stay?

For one man’s ego. And that would perhaps make a 15th article of impeachment.

US unable to win in west Iraq, Marines say
Dafna Linzer and Thomas Ricks, Washington
November 29, 2006

THE US military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda’s rising popularity, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report.

“The fundamental questions of lack of control, growth of the insurgency and criminality” remain the same in the troubled Anbar province, a senior US intelligence official said.

The report describes Iraq’s Sunni minority as “embroiled in a daily fight for survival”, fearful of “pogroms” by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across Baghdad.

“From the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realised — Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalised,” the report says. Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help US forces because they are seen as likely to leave Iraq before imposing stability.

Between al-Qaeda’s violence, Iran’s influence and an expected gradual US withdrawal, “the social and political situation has deteriorated to a point” that US and Iraqi troops “are no longer capable of militarily defeating the insurgency in al-Anbar”. At least 90 US troops have died in Anbar since September 1.

Read the rest here.

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