I'm a Pundit Too

Monday, April 30, 2007

What do the Generals think?

From ABCNews
Petraeus, who took over as the top U.S. commander in Iraq in February, said he was encouraged by progress in recent months against al-Qaida elements in Anbar, the vast province that stretches west from Baghdad to the borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Violence in Anbar has declined and U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have gained a measure of control in keys cities including Ramadi, the provincial capital.

Petraeus attributed the change in part to tribal leaders becoming fed up with al-Qaida attacks on civilians and in part to the terrorist group's use of hijackings and other tactics that have disrupted tribal smuggling operations.

"Al-Qaida was killing business," Petraeus said, adding that he believes the progress in Anbar will prove lasting.

From UPI
"The irony of the current debate is that is comes at the worst possible time for both Iraq and for us," a senior U.S. military official told UPI Wednesday. "The Iraqi Security Forces are doing well enough. They are developing leaders. Their institutions and systems are beginning -- but only beginning -- to function. Pressing too hard will not simply slow momentum toward transition to their control but drive them back to old and very bad habits."

Gen Martin Dempsey, New Man in Charge of Training the Iraqi Army, Talks with Bill O'Reilly
O'REILLY: The perception in the United States is that this is a loser, that things are not going well for the United States. Is that the reality?
LT. GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, U.S. ARMY: No, I don't think so at all. There's a great deal of progress. And the mission's extraordinarily important, not only for the region, but really for the rest of the world.
And so, the idea that somehow it's being lost is -- has to be understood in the context of the stakes.
O'REILLY: But 3,000 American dead, and you know, what, 15,000 wounded or something. You know, Americans are saying, not worth it.
DEMPSEY: It is absolutely worth it. Left unchecked, we would have been doing this in 2025 or so, but it would have been a far more horrific experience for all of us and I think far more casualties.

We are winning on the battlefield. We only lose if we follow the democrats.

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