When it comes to Iraq, "withdrawal" seems to be the word of the day. In Washington, the incoming administration has revived the Obama campaign's 16- month timetable for removing combat troops from Iraq.
Last week, Eve reported that the real news at the Petraeus testimony came from Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who painted a much bleaker picture of the situation in Iraq than essentially any other administration official to date. Today Crocker is in the news again, this time for condemning the Department of Homeland Security's resettlement process for Iraqi refugees.
IRAQ IS NOT VIETNAM, but the United States is in danger of recreating one of the most tragic elements of that earlier war. Then, we repeatedly fed new resources—manpower, money, political capital—into the war without changing our strategic approach until it was too late. The additional increments of soldiers and supplies allowed us to keep the war going but were never enough to produce the results we sought.
If the Bush administration's preparations for war with Saddam Hussein were proceeding appropriately, the president would probably be curling up right now with something called a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for Iraq. An NIE is a document pooling all the information on a particular country that U.S. intelligence services have collected from overheard phone calls, satellite photos, decrypted e-mails, defectors, paid informants, foreign intelligence services, diplomat tipsters, newspaper articles, and official speeches.