Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The McCaffrey Report on Iraq

There's an important story in the Washington Times today on Gen. Barry McCaffrey's report following a trip to Iraq. The first major point is that the Iraqi Army is coming along, but it will be five to ten more years before they're where they need to be. Mostly equipment deficiencies are credited with the problems (no mention on any cultural issues, but that topic is probably way off limits). The second point is that there are big problems with corruption, infiltration and abuse in the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but then that's not really news.

There are, however, some key findings that got pushed to the bottom of the Times' story, but are probably more newsworthy:

  • Foreign fighters led by al Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Musab Zarqawi "have been defeated as a strategic and operational threat to the creation of an Iraqi government."
  • U.S. agency support for the Iraq operation is "grossly inadequate." "The bottom line is that only the CIA and the U.S. Armed Forces are at war." (U.S. officials have told The Washington Times that outdated personnel rules make it difficult to assign civil service workers to Iraq.)
  • The command has improved detainee treatment to the point where "we may be in danger of overreaching." Gen. McCaffrey writes, "Many of the [enemy] detainees accuse U.S. soldiers of abuse under the silliest factual situations knowing it will trigger an automatic investigation."

The Belmont Club's talking it up, too.