Anbar Lost

Bush discusses Anbar on onSept. 5

Still other captured documents show al Qaeda’s strategy for infiltrating Muslim nations, establishing terrorist enclaves, overthrowing governments, and building their totalitarian empire. We see this strategy laid out in a captured al Qaeda document found during a recent raid in Iraq, which describes their plans to infiltrate and take over Iraq’s western Anbar Province. The document lays out an elaborate al Qaeda governing structure for the region that includes an Education Department, a Social Services Department, a Justice Department, and an “Execution Unit” responsible for “Sorting out, Arrest, Murder, and Destruction.”

Interesting givenWaPo reports an August 16 classified Marine Corps assessment, that’s been making the rounds in Washington, states Anbar has been lost and there is no functioning government there…

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin’s classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically — and that’s where wars are won and lost.”


Devlin reports that there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province’s most significant political force, said the Army officer, who has read the report. Another person familiar with the report said it describes Anbar as beyond repair; a third said it concludes that the United States has lost in Anbar.

Bush’s warning (arguably his after-the-fact prediction) of what will come if we fail in Anbar (of which he must know we have) becomes another rationalization for more GWOT. It is very disturbing on so many levels. Of course he isn’t being honest on what is occurring and thus there is no accountability. But worse anything, even losing, can be used (say set up for when the time comes that ALL Know Anbar is lost) to further what Kerry termed his“Katrina foreign policy.” Is there a clearer demonstration that losing in Iraq is at best ignored and at worst exploited or even useful as a self-fulfilling rationalization for Bush’s aims with the GWOT than whatis happening has happened in Anbar? It’s a hell of a way to run a war when losingcan will be used to prove you right. It’s even worse to die for.