Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Kagan finds gold in the Jones Report:

Iraq War and Surge advocate Fred Kagan takes issue with those who read the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq report (by ret. Gen. James Jones) and conclude the situation is bad, as the Washington Post did:
Iraqi Army Unable To Take Over Within A Year, Report Says
Breakup of National Police Is Urged

Iraq's army, despite measurable progress, will be unable to take over internal security from U.S. forces in the next 12 to 18 months and "cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven," according to a report on the Iraqi security forces published today.

The report, prepared by a commission of retired senior U.S. military officers, describes the 25,000-member Iraqi national police force and the Interior Ministry, which controls it, as riddled with sectarianism and corruption. The ministry, it says, is "dysfunctional" and is "a ministry in name only." The commission recommended that the national police force be disbanded. [...]
Here are some excerpts from that report, selected by Fred Kagan, who tells you what the report really says: (emp add)
  • The Commission finds that in general, the Iraqi Security Forces, military and police, have made uneven progress, but that there should be increasing improvement in both their readiness and their capability to provide for the internal security of Iraq.
  • While severely deficient in combat support and combat service support capabilities, the new Iraqi armed forces, especially the Army, show clear evidence of developing the baseline infrastructures that lead to the successful formation of a national defense capability.
  • In general, the Iraqi Army and Special Forces are becoming more proficient in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations; they are gaining size and strength, and will increasingly be capable of assuming greater responsibility for Iraq's security.
  • Finding 3: The 'clear, hold, build' strategy being implemented by Iraqi Security Forces is on the right track and shows potential, but neither the Iraqi armed forces nor the police forces can execute these types of operations independently.
  • Finding 33: The emphasis on local recruiting and assignment in the Iraqi Police Service is showing promise in establishing security at the local level; strong personnel vetting processes will remain vital.
  • Finding 34: Police training in Iraq is improving, particularly in areas where training is led by Iraqi instructors partnered with civilian police advisors.
  • Reflecting the Coalition's much stronger grasp of counterinsurgency operations, the "clear, hold, build" strategy launched in March 2006 appears to be generating results in enhancing security in the provinces.
Has the Surge achieved any results? In virtually all cases, no. But, Fred Kagan would have you believe that:
There should be increasing improvement in Iraqi security forces since they are developing the baseline infrastructures that lead to becoming more proficient, being on the right track, showing potential and promise, and that this improvement appears to be generating results.
In other words:
"Goals not met, but it's still a success because I'm optimistic."


Easy for things to 'should have increasing improvement' (and ponies!) in the future when everything is horrible. At Zero, ya got nowhere to go but up.

By Anonymous random, at 9/07/2007 12:43 PM  

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