I just never look good in military clothing- something about my FAT BELLY!
A good day for articles interesting to folks like me...
Iraqis Wasting An Opportunity, U.S. Officers Say
With Attacks Ebbing, Government Is Urged to Reach Out to Opponents
By Thomas E. Ricks
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq -- Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.
The lack of political progress calls into question the core rationale behind the troop buildup President Bush announced in January, which was premised on the notion that improved security would create space for Iraqis to arrive at new power-sharing arrangements. And what if there is no such breakthrough by next summer? "If that doesn't happen," Odierno said, "we're going to have to review our strategy."
U.S. Ponders War Message, and How Best to Deliver It
By THOM SHANKER
Published: November 15, 2007
What they knew, though, came from a biography compiled by military strategic communications officers and distributed before her meetings.
The selection of information in the handout highlighted her critical remarks about the administration’s war strategy, which she had called a failure, but did not mention her sponsorship of legislation requiring more time at home for combat troops or her support of financing for armored vehicles and upgraded flak jackets.
An angry Ms. Tauscher characterized the document as “an attempt to frame my stance as someone opposed to the war, hence opposed to the troops,” which, she said, left her “feeling slimed.”
The episode is part of a complex debate now under way within the State Department and Pentagon about how to shape and transmit their messages — internally, to their own personnel, to the nation at large and overseas during a time of war.
Where's the Pushback Against the Surge?
By John Podesta, Lawrence J. Korb and Brian Katulis
President Bush claims that his strategy is having some success, but toward what end? He argued that the surge would provide the political breathing space needed to achieve a unified, peaceful Iraq. But its successes, which Bush says come from a reduction of casualties in certain areas, have been accompanied by massive sectarian cleansing. The surge has not moved us closer to national reconciliation.
No Good at Nation-Building
By Robert D. Novak
By Rich Lowry
Forget the briefings from generals, the intelligence evaluations and the Pentagon status reports. There is a handy indicator for whether the war in Iraq is going well — its relative absence from the front pages.
In the past month, the country’s top newspapers have splashed Iraq stories on Page A-1, but most have involved the scandal concerning the security contractor Blackwater and the impending (but yet to materialize) Turkish invasion of the Kurdish north. Reports on major trends in the war tend to be relegated to inside pages because — from the blows dealt to al Qaeda, to the rise of Sunni security volunteers, to Muqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire — they have been largely positive.
In Israel, there’s a law that bans reporting on sensitive national-security operations; you could be forgiven for thinking the U.S. has a similar ban on any encouraging news from the hottest battlefront in the war on terror. The United States might be the only country in world history that reverseitself, magnifying its setbacks and ignoring its successes so that nothing can disturb what Connecticut’s Sen. Joe Lieberman calls the “narrative of defeat.”