Jim Lobe has been writing on Iraq for Asia Times pretty regularly from the beginning. Michael Schwartz — who I met at Suny-SB — less often, but imho with more depth.
The following two pieces are part of an alternative account to the silly surge-is-working drivel being peddled by politicos and infotainment media. Lobe’s, as always, shares many assumptions with the Empire; but his description of the dilemma facing Gates is accurate in many respects. Both pieces deserve broad distribution.
In its first four years, the Iraq war created three overlapping waves of refugees and IDPs.
It all began with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which the George W Bush administration set up inside Baghdad’s Green Zone and, in May 2003, placed under the control of L Paul Bremer. The CPA immediately began dismantling Iraq’s state apparatus. Thousands of Ba’athist party bureaucrats were purged from the government; tens of thousands of workers were laid off from shuttered, state-owned industries; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi military personnel were dismissed from Saddam Hussein’s dismantled military.
Their numbers soon multiplied as the ripple effect of …
…On the other hand, there’s the deep blue sea in the rapidly growing conviction among top military officers and the national security establishment in general that US ground forces are already dangerously overstretched and that retaining as many as 130,000 troops in Iraq is simply not sustainable for any appreciable length of time.
Indeed, those top military officers, notably the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, and Army Chief General George Casey, have become increasingly vocal in…