All About Trey

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Gen McCaffery's Report

I’ve got a guy in Kuwait right now. He’s coming home on Saturday and then heads to Ft Bliss for training before going into Iraq. He’s going to both Baghdad and Mosul. I’m not happy about it at all. My boss sent me a copy of GEN McCaffrey’s trip report from Kuwait and Iraq. It’s kind of long, but here are the parts that concern me:

2nd - The point of the US war effort is to create legitimate and competent Iraqi national, provincial, and municipal governance. We are at a turning point in the coming six months. The momentum is now clearly with the Iraqi Government and the Coalition Security Forces. The Sunnis are coming into the political process. They will vote in December. Unlike the Balkans-the Iraqis want this to succeed. Foreign fighters are an enormously lethal threat to the Iraqi civilian population, the ISF, and Coalition Forces in that order. However, they will be an increasing political disaster for the insurgency. Over time they are actually adding to the credibility of the emerging Iraqi government. We should expect to see a dwindling number of competent, suicide capable Jihadist. Those who come to Iraq--will be rapidly killed in Iraq. The picture by next summer will be unfavorable to recruiting foreigners to die in Iraq while attacking fellow Arabs.

The initial US/UK OIF intervention took down a criminal regime and left a nation without an operational State.

Is this one of those reports that’s targeted for a specific audience? This has the sounds of the “insurgencies is in its last throes”. And yet the death count, both US and Iraqi keeps rising.

January thru September 2006 will be the peak period of the insurgency --and the bottom rung of the new Iraq. The positive trend lines following the January 2006 elections (if they continue) will likely permit the withdrawal of substantial US combat forces by late summer of 2006. With 250,000 Iraqi Security Forces successfully operating in support of a government which includes substantial Sunni participation--the energy will start rapidly draining out of the insurgency.

3rd - The Iraqi Security Forces are now a real and hugely significant factor. LTG Dave Petreaus has done a brilliant job with his supporting trainers.

169,000 Army and Police exist in various stages of readiness. They have uniforms, automatic weapons, body armor, some radios, some armor, light trucks, and battalion-level organization. At least 60,000 are courageous Patriots who are actively fighting. By next summer--250,000 Iraqi troops and 10 division HQS will be the dominant security factor in Iraq.

Is this really accurate? There are lots of reports of phantom troops, people on the roles who collect a check but never show up to actually do anything.

However, much remains to be done. There is no maintenance or logistics system. There is no national command and control. Corruption is a threat factor of greater long-range danger than the armed insurgency. The Insurgents have widely infiltrated the ISF. The ISF desperately needs more effective, long-term NCO and Officer training.

Finally, the ISF absolutely must have enough helicopter air mobility (120+ Black Hawk UH 60's) --and a substantial number of armored vehicles to lower casualties and give them a competitive edge over the insurgents they will fight. (2000 up-armor Humvee's, 500 ASV's, and 2000 M113A3's with add-on armor package)

Yep, I’ll agree with that. And who’s going to pay for all of that equipment?

4. Top CENTCOM Vulnerabilities:

1st - Premature drawdown of U.S. ground forces driven by dwindling U.S. domestic political support and the progressive deterioration of Army and Marine manpower. (In particular, the expected melt-down of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve in the coming 36 months)

Wow. That’s a pretty honest assessment.

2nd - Alienation of the U.S. Congress or the American people caused by Iraqi public ingratitude and corruption.


3rd - Political ineptitude of Shia civil leadership that freezes out the Sunnis and creates a civil war during our drawdown.

Yeah, this could get much, much uglier.

4th - "The other shoe" - a war with North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, or Cuba that draws away U.S. military forces and political energy.

My bet’s Iran! Any takers? Any guesses on a timeline? I’m thinking in time for the 2008 elections.

5th - The loss or constraint of our logistics support bases in Kuwait. Clearly we need constant diplomatic attention and care to this vital Ally. If Kuwait became unstable or severely alienated to US Military objectives in the region-then our posture in Iraq would be placed in immediate fatal

6th - Open intervention by Iranian intelligence or military forces to support rogue Shia Iraqi insurgency. (Assassination of Sustani-armed rebellion by Sadr)

Yep, if Iran steps up, this could go from bad to worse really quickly.

7th - Continued under-manning and too rapid turnover in State Department inter-agency representation in Iraq.

8th - Lack of continuity in CENTCOM strategic and operational senior leadership. The CENTCOM military leadership we now have is a collective national treasure.

5. The Enemy Threat:

1st - The Iraqi Insurgency threat is enormously more complex than Vietnam.

There we faced a single opposing ideology; known enemy leaders; a template enemy organizational structure; an external sanctuary which was vital to the insurgency to bring in fighters, ammunition, resources; and relative security in urban areas under Allied/Vietnamese Government control.

Iraq is much tougher. The enemy forces in this struggle are principally Sunni irredentists-- but there is also a substantial criminal class determined to murder, rob, kidnap and create chaos.

We also face a small but violent foreign Jihadist terrorist element. These terrorists do not depend on foreign sanctuary. They can arm themselves with the incredible mass of munitions and weapons scattered from one end of Iraq to the other.

Finally, Iraq is encircled by six bordering nations -- all of whom harbor ill-will for the struggling democratic Iraqi state.

We must continue to level with the American people. We still have a five
year fight facing us in Iraq.

FIVE YEARS!!!! And we're going to start pulling troops back next summer? How's that for a little bit of a disconnect? Is anyone in the adminstration even talking about this?


a.. This is the darkness before dawn in the efforts to construct a viable Iraqi state. The enterprise was badly launched --but we are now well organized and beginning to develop successful momentum. The future outcomes are largely a function of the degree to which Iraqi men and women will overcome fear and step forward to seize the leadership opportunity to create a new future.
b.. We face some very difficult days in the coming 2-5 years. In my judgment, if we retain the support of the American people --we can achieve our objectives of creating a law-based Iraqi state which will be an influencing example on the entire region.
c.. A successful outcome would potentially usher in a very dramatically changed environment throughout the Middle East and signal in this region the end of an era of incompetent and corrupt government which fosters frustration and violence on the part of much of the population.

We got into this war for the wrong reasons. We need to finish this war for the right reasons. And I think we are trying. But we just seem to keep shooting ourselves in the foot with the lack of planning and lack of honesty. We need more troops, not less. We need to be honest with the US people and ask them to sacrifice their morning latte to help make a difference in this fight. We really have no choice. If we fail in Iraq, it will only become another Afghanistan hosting scores of radical Islamic jihadits who will threaten the moderate Arab countries in the region. Guess how much your gallon of gas will cost then!