The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Quote:
Dave: the 'get out gradually' plan might have worked a year ago. But partitioning and leaving looks less and less feasible now. The Kurds might get away with it, assuming they don't piss off Turkey and Iran by talking up a "new Kurdistan" too much. But the Shiites and Sunnis will never break apart peacefully.


I sometimes think that just leaving would be best too. I dont really have enough information to make a real assessment of the strategy and leaving gradually seems like a compromise (cop-out) given that the current Iraqi government doesnt really want us to leave at all.

I believe that just leaving would stop 90% of the violence by the way. Sure its mostly Muslim against Muslim but the reason is that were there (being seen as trying to help one side more than the other and the whole infidel thing.)

Andy, fuel cells are pretty cool. I have no doubt that there development will be very important to our future. I also think that figuring out better ways of getting electricity to market will be important as well. A tremendous amount of energy is lost getting electricity from the generating point (damns, for example, are usually a long way from population centers) to the home/business. Even charging up fuel cells at the generation site seems interesting to me (if they can be transported cheaply.)
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The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -Papa Gino » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:39 pm

As reprinted in the WSJ. The President's response can be found at:

www.whitehouse.gov/news/r...926-3.html

Scroll down about a third of the way to the first question Bush responds to.

On a separate note, I personally happen to agree with an ex-CIA analyst's recent assessment that the NIE summary below more or less states the obvious. But that's me.

Declassified Key Judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" dated April 2006 (Released Sept. 26, 2006)

Key Judgments

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa'ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa'ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movementwhich includes al-Qa'ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cellsis spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.

Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.

If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.

Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa'ida, could erode support for the jihadists.


We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.

We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.

The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.


We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.


We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.

Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad;" (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims -- all of which jihadists exploit.

Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the jihadists' radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.

The jihadists' greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of shari'a-based governance spanning the Muslim world -- is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists' propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.

Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.

Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.


If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.

Al-Qa'ida, now merged with Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.

The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.

We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa'ida.

Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.

The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qa'ida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.


Other affiliated Sunni extremist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiya, Ansar al-Sunnah, and several North African groups, unless countered, are likely to expand their reach and become more capable of multiple and/or mass-casualty attacks outside their traditional areas of operation.

We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-Qa'ida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.


We judge that most jihadist groups -- both well-known and newly formed -- will use improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.

CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups.


While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being exploited by terrorists.

Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.


Souce: Director of National Intelligence
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:29 pm

Quote:
On a separate note, I personally happen to agree with an ex-CIA analyst's recent assessment that the NIE summary below more or less states the obvious. But that's me.


Saw a guy on the News Hour who said the same and made a very analysis of the report. Overall, nothing new or surprising. Is the war in Iraq fueling the jihadist movement? Not surprisingly yes. Are we killing more than we're creating... maybe surprisingly No. There are more jihadists around today than before.

Don't overlook why we're seen as evil. Can we really expect to "force" other nations to become democratic? My view is that we need to change "force" to "help" and get out of Iraq as soon as possible, drastically changing our role there.
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:21 pm

Latest GOP talking point:

"Intelligence failures led to the disaster that is Iraq. Clearly, their current recommendations cannot be trusted. Do not examine the "logic" of this assertion too closely."

Etc
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby VectorAWX3 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:05 pm

Oh don't worry. We're pulling out, slowly but surely. A couple of provinces have already been turned over to the Iraqi gov't. Several prisons and other institutions have, as well (with Iraqi prisoners begging the Evil Americans to not leave them behind).

Let's see what happens....
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby Bauhaus » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:12 pm

Could you imagine what it would have been like to have the French fight the American Revoulution for us?

We'd probably still be an English colony (like Canada probably.)

We have to support democracy from within not force it on people from the outside (unless they're the taliiban, then we should go in and kick their butts.)
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -Papa Gino » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:26 pm

Quote:
Oh don't worry. We're pulling out, slowly but surely. A couple of provinces have already been turned over to the Iraqi gov't. Several prisons and other institutions have, as well (with Iraqi prisoners begging the Evil Americans to not leave them behind).



Clearly I was hallucinating when I heard CENTCOM announce just the other day that troop levels in Iraq will be increased through at least the second half of 2007.

Vietnamization did not work in Viet Nam, it will not work here. Not in the way in which it is intended, in any case. Besides that, even the most ambitious "official" (i.e. RNC or DNC) pull-out options currently being floated are really "redeployment" - retaining a corps or two inside fortified bases in Iraq itself while the remaining troops are used to form a Rapid Reaction Force based in a neighboring country.

This is a problem we are going to be dealing with for a while, in my opinion. A long while. At least Viet Nam did not have a compelling economic imperative behind it.
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:10 am

Yarr.

"Redeployment away from provinces that are so FUBAR we can't possibly hold them" is not the same as "pulling out and handing control over to the Iraqis"

You must HAVE control in order to HAND control over
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby VectorAWX3 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:45 am

Hang on.. so you complain that there are too MANY troops, and you complain that there are too FEW troops. Make up yer damn minds. :p
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Re: The declassified part of the NIE, for those interested

Postby -The Fabulous Orcboy » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:05 am

Mixing up your talking points, Nidal?

My complaints, in order:

(1) Iraq unnecessary in war against terror. It was not a primary, secondary, or tertiary terrorist state, or terror-supporting state. It had no ties to Al-Qaeda, and in fact was despised by much of the organization. It also served as a primary regional rival in the region to the PRIMARY terrorist state in the area -- Iran. True -- it was run by a ruthless twisted fuck of a dictator. But so are literally dozens of other countries in the world.

(2) EVERY SINGLE REASON GIVEN for the Iraq war (except maybe "overthrow Saddam because he's a bad guy") turned out to be either wrong, or has yet to materialize at all. Note: this is not debateable. The President himself has admitted this in every detail.

(3) The Iraq invasion conducted incompetently, with no post-victory plan. None. If you're going to go to war ANYWAY, you should at least have thought it through for a couple months with some expert advisors, so you can figure out what you're going to do AFTER the very likely victory. You don't go in with a couple of vague outlines thrown together in fucking Powerpoint -- which is exactly what this administration ended up doing.

(4) The Iraq post-victory occupation was conducted with too few troops, AGAINST the repeated advice of military experts. It was led by individuals appointed to leadership positions, who had no qualifications apart from their loyalty to the Bush administration -- cronyism and nepotism on a grand scale, Katrina on a nation-wide scale. No effort was made to secure military or economic targets. Efforts to rebuild infrastructure was belated and underfunded. Efforts to work out practical solutions based on local political context, were nixed in favor of high-handed pie-in-sky idealism and condescending paternalism toward the "natives". Thus, unsurprisingly, it failed miserably.

(5) The current Iraq occupation is completely untenable. It was very likely untenable in 2004, but the details of that untenability were "mysteriously" hushed up until after the election, until 2005. The situation has continued to go downhill since then. It's currently far too late now for "more troops" to do any good at all. The NIE simply confirms all this.

My complaint is that the administration has been wrong in every particular about this Iraq war, but has had a massive hard-on for it from day one in office (January 2001). The leaked memos from the British government make this pretty strikingly clear for anyone who doesn't believe this is a massive conspiracy theory by the Brits to "get" Bush.

They leveraged outrage about Al-Qaeda to get a war effort rolling. They were repeated "wrong" about every reason they provided, consistently exaggerated the nature of the "threat", and repeatedly ignored diplomatic options available to them. They started a war with no plan whatsoever for its aftermath. They continue to have no plan at all, apart from "Stay the Course (Don't Cut and Run)", which isn't a plan -- it's a slogan cut with macho frat-boy 'tude.

A reasonable person would be well justified in thinking that they maliciously and consciously lied and manipulated evidence to get the desired end-goal (a war), which they never took seriously as an actual policy, thinking only to use the "patriotism"-boost of a war to further their own domestical, political ends. But naturally, about 27%-35% of this country (= the "Crazification Factor") either doesn't see, or fundamentally cannot make themselves admit, that this might be the case.

The current disgust is part-and-parcel of the primary criticism: that these morons not only started a war, but they then waged that war on a level of consistent and repeated incompetence that beggars imagination. They never thought it through, never planned it out, never bothered to run it well, and lied about it constantly to get what they wanted, all for short-term political gain. And now they're spinning like mad to keep the ugly facts from penetrating the elaborate web of justifications and rationalizations of the 27-35% who still keep buying the "spin".

FACT: There are not enough troops in Iraq to do anything apart from hunker down and pray for the best.
FACT: Short of re-instituting the draft, wrecking the US economy to create a mercenary force, or utterly abandoning some key US interests elsewhere in the world, there are no more troops to be had.
FACT: The number of troops necessary to do a "good job" in Iraq was about 2x or 3x what is there now. But this is past tense, pre-eruption of Civil War. Now, you'd need even more than that.
FACT: There aren't that many troops in the entirety of the US military, even if we pull out EVERYTHING from EVERYWHERE (Korea, Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, etc) and throw them into Iraq.
FACT: The US forces have simply been live targets in most of the outlying provinces for months.
FACT: Most of the insurgent activity has been Sunni. The Shiites are getting restless, tho, and that's a bad thing considering they are the majority, plus they run the government (such as it is).
FACT: They're building a moat around Baghdad. This isn't a withdrawal, this is a redeployment into a massively defensive posture.
FACT: You do not win counter-insurgencies by going on the defensive.

=========

Sure I'm pissed.

The way this government works, I'm a shareholder and they're MY fucking employees.

Against MY better judgement, the slim plurality of shareholders has hired some incompetent bozo with a well-documented history of flagrant incompetence, poor leadership ability, and a cadre of second-rate rejects and washed-up has-beens.

Over my continued opposition, this governing board (hand-picked and led by a less-than-useless CEO) has destroyed the value of company stock for virtually everyone but a minute (<1%) percentage of the shareholders, a minute percentage that coincidentally happens to include ALL of themselves. They've driven the finances of the company into the ground, destroyed its credibility on the market, and 'cooked the books' to hide their shenanigans -- including picking and choosing the economic indicators they use to determine their success/failure.

They've also taken on a massively expensive project on nothing but the vague promise of future returns, staffed that project with no-talent hacks and ass-kissers, poured huge amounts of resources into it from "emergency funds" outside of the budgetary control of the board of directors, and continued to provide excuse after excuse about why the continued and growing failure of this project actually should be interpreted as success.

At the same time, just over half of the board of directors has been almost completely subservient to the CEO, exercising virtually none of their oversight power and frequently choosing to permanently cede substantial portions of their authority to him (and away from themselves). All while they work at looting millions upon millions of dollars from the net worth of the company.

The CEO also refuses to fire ANYONE who is loyal to him, no matter how incompetent or useless, but will immediately terminate anyone at all who tries to oppose his continued pursuit of total centralized authority. He has tried repeatedly to curtail the power of company shareholders, the board of directors, any oversight agencies, etc.

Through it all, approximately 1/3 of the shareholders continue to remain blindly loyal to their CEO. Many of them have voluntarily given their loyalty (and shareholder/ownership power) to someone who is THEIR EMPLOYEE -- not only their employee, but an incredibly incompetent one that is busy destroying the value of the shares they hold!

And the reason? Why, apparently it would be "disloyal" to criticize one of your employees. And besides, he seems like a great guy. And there's no possible way he would ever do all those horrible things! No way at all! Clearly, the critical shareholders are just paranoid. Or hysterical. Or bear the company (in which they are shareholders, mind) illwill. Or all three.

Yeah, sure, that's it. I'm sure that's exactly it.

BTW, I very much look forward to your explanation for all this in 38 more years. Based on current projections, I suspect you'll first try some BS answer like "Ken, it was 40 years ago, we're all old men now, give it a fucking rest!" :rolleyes
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