Contributed by: filbert Friday, February 02 2007 @ 07:40 PM CST
U.S. intel report: Iraq spiraling down[*1] (Yahoo News/AP)
US intelligence sees elements of civil war in Iraq[*2] (Yahoo News/AFP)
U.S. intelligence sees elements of Iraq “civil war”[*3] (Yahoo News/Reuters)
Intel report questions Bush’s Iraq strategy[*4] (Miami Herald)
Intelligence study reports a bleak outlook for stability in Iraq[*5] (Kansas City Star)
Now, let’s look at what the National Intelligence Estimate[*6] which spawned all of those gloomy headlines actually says:
Iraqi society’s growing polarization, the persistent weakness of the security forces and the state in general, and all sides’ ready recourse to violence are collectively driving an increase in communal and insurgent violence and political extremism. Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measureable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter half of 2006.
Unless something changes, it will continue to be at least as bad as it currently is.
The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence.
Sorry, NBC and the rest of the media. It’s not a civil war. It’s something different. Which is not to say that it’s not a serious situation.
Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq, intensify Sunni resistance to the Iraqi Government, and have adverse consequences for national reconciliation.
In other words, it’s bad, but it will get much worse if we leave. Those in the United States who are calling for “redeployment” are calling for increased carnage in Iraq, pure and simple. No amount of spin can get around that fundamental fact.