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Another (Quick) Look at the Surge...

Iraqi police.jpg

I know we covered this subject ad nauseum last week, but I just thought I'd throw one more log on the fire of the "Petraeus Report" assessment melee that's still simmering.

One of the most innovative and trusted "outside experts" in D.C. is Andrew Krepinevich and his stable of "formers" and other "think tankers" at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. It turns out, Krepinevich briefed senate staffers on the 10th, giving his read of the surge.

He's been pretty down the line on the war, critiquing where he sees fit and approving when it looks like somethings working. Hes a strong advocate of counterinsurgency strategy but tends to lean more toward the Rumsfeldian "economy of force" school of thought.

His briefing slides are offered HERE in their entirety. But heres a look at his conclusions.

The Maliki Government is seemingly unable (unwilling?) to affect a national reconciliation it lacks coercive power, legitimacy, and competence, consequently.

Iraqs factions are increasingly making their own way, establishing their own control, protecting (or extorting) those people who live under their rule, and making their own alliances with foreign powers (e.g., Sunni tribes and US; Shia militias and Iran).

The US is slowly but surely seeing its ability to influence events in Iraq wane . . . In part because of a growing perception that the American public has one foot already out the door.

The US command in Baghdad has adapted admirably to changing circumstances, but the situation is dynamic and the path to national reconciliation may no longer lie through the Maliki Governmentthus the Surge Metrics may be OBE . . . If so . . .

What should succeed them? What is the new way forward? And not just in Iraq, but in the theater of conflict stretching from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush?

-- Christian

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