Iraq & Afghanistan: Warning of A Serious Crisis Ahead
If this is not another moment of crisis in American history then what would be.
Here is the fighting/intelligence arm of the American nation virtually informing the lawmakers of the USA the futility of continuing the war in Iraq. Yet another report from the Associated Press highlights the failure of the U.S.-backed strategy to fight Afghanistan’s massive drug trade.
The Pentagon – the nerve centre of the United States Department of Defense charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military – has without mincing words informed the Congress of the near futility of the Iraq war. And this is not the first time!!! Tragically, the warnings are falling on deaf ears.
If you read the Pentagon report carefully you would find that while it is pointing at the dangers inherent in staying on in Iraq, the Bush administration seems to have ‘forced’ the Army Commanders to increase the number of troops in Iraq.
For the uninitiated Pentagon includes the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, as well as non-combat agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Why is President George Walker Bush continuing to overlook the advice of the Pentagon and the Congress? Will this not demoralise the valiant US and other soldiers paying with their lives? What would be the long-term implications for all with a President at helm refusing to listen to the important powerful Constitutional institutions within his own country? Don’t such conditions lead to a civil war?
Since public memory is notoriously short, let us recall that President Bush and Co had refused to pay heed to the US Intelligence agencies warnings prior to 9/11 that there was a conspiracy going on and foreign pilots were being trained in the USA.
Now President Bush is again refusing to listen to the warnings of the Pentagon and the members of the Congress. This is an extremely dangerous development and a moment of great crisis not only for American citizens but the entire world.
“Sectarian violence is spreading in Iraq and the security problems have become more complex than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2003, a Pentagon report said Friday.
“In a notably gloomy report to Congress, the Pentagon reported that illegal militias have become more entrenched, especially in Baghdad neighborhoods where they are seen as providers of both security and basic social services.
” ‘Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq, specifically in and around Baghdad, and concern about civil war within the Iraqi civilian population has increased in recent months,’ the (Pentagon) report said. It is the latest in a series of quarterly reports required by Congress to assess economic, political and security progress.
“A growing number of members of Congress are calling for either a shift in the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy or a timetable for beginning a substantial withdrawal of American forces. Although administration officials say progress is being made in Iraq, U.S. commanders have increased U.S. troop levels by about 13,000 over the past five weeks, to 140,000, mainly due to increased violence in the Baghdad area.
“Peter Rodman, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, in a separate session with reporters, said that despite progress this summer in reviving the Iraqi economy, raising electricity production and increasing the number of trained Iraqi troops, security conditions have deteriorated.
“When asked if they believe ‘things will be better’ in the future, the percentage of Iraqis responding positively has dropped over the past year â€” whether they were asked to look ahead six months, one year or five years â€” according to polling data cited in the report.
” ‘The security situation is currently at its most complex state since the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom,’ the report said, using the U.S. military’s name for the war that was launched in March 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.”
Now Afghanistan. The Associated Press report says: “The U.S.-backed strategy to fight Afghanistan’s massive drug trade has been unsuccessful in stemming opium cultivation, which is expected to hit record levels this year, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.
“The official spoke to reporters as Western officials in Afghanistan were forecasting a possible 40 percent increase this year in land under opium poppy cultivation, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent in counternarcotics efforts.
“Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium and heroin supply, and the drug trade has had a corrosive effect on President Hamid Karzai’s struggling government.”
According to The New York Times: “Iraqi casualties soared by more than 50 percent in recent months, the product of spiraling sectarian clashes and a Sunni-based insurgency that remains â€œpotent and viable,â€? the Pentagon said in its latest comprehensive assessment of security in Iraq.
“This time, the (Pentagon) study is the focus of special interest because of increasing fears that Iraq is sliding into civil war and because it is being published at a time when President Bush and members of his cabinet have been trying to present a strong case in support of the war, in the face of vehement criticism from Democrats.”
President Bush and his colleagues must listen to the sane advice of those who really matter before it is too late. A good leader is always ready to change the nation’s policy if it is for the good of the public at large and helps towards peace in his country and the world.