December 08, 2004


The 136 US troops killed in Iraq in November was the highest monthly total of the war. Forty-two US troops died in June, when the United States transferred "sovereignty" to Allawi's puppet regime. There has been an increase in the US death toll in every month since then, with the exception of October.

After one year's duty, the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Baghdad says:
the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and may not rebound any time soon... the security situation (is) likely to get worse, including more violence and sectarian clashes, unless there (are) marked improvements soon on the part of the Iraqi government, in terms of its ability to assert authority and to build the economy.
Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington says:
The odds of lasting US success in Iraq are now at best even, and may well be worse.

US success is heavily dependent on two variables which the US can influence but not control. The first is the emergence of a government that Iraqis see as legitimate and which can effectively govern. The second is the ability to create Iraqi military and security forces that can largely replace US and other coalition forces no later than 2006'.
And this from Iraq watcher Toby Dodge of Queen Mary College at the University of London:
To stand up a police force in the middle of an insurgency and expect it to work was optimism to the point of recklessness.

With Iraqi forces too weak and US forces too resented there is a continuing security vacuum.

The policy has been naive and simplistic from the start and the elections will not solve it.

This is a decade long thing at least, if the Americans even stay the course.

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