US generals give 6 mos. to win in Iraq before US faces 'Vietnam-style collapse' of support
A team of military officers advising General David Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq, have concluded that the United States has 6 months to win the war in Iraq or it will face a "Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat," reports Guardian Unlimited.
The officers that make up the elite team are combat veterans who are considered to be counter-insurgency experts, writes Simon Tisdall. They are charged with implementing President Bush's new plan for Iraq, which includes the controversial "surge."
A former senior Bush administration official tells the Guardian that the team does not even yet have a firm grasp of what the plan is. "The plan is changing every minute, as all plans do," the unnamed official is quoted as saying.
The team also points to a "disintegrating" international coalition, low troop morale, and potentially increased Southern violence in the wake of the British pullout as obstacles to US success in Iraq.
Earlier, RAW STORY reported on a Pentagon document that suggested the war on terror, of which the Iraq war is a part, was to end just before the 2008 election.
Excerpts from the Guardian article follow...
The main obstacles confronting Gen Petraeus's team are:
· Insufficent numbers of troops on the ground
· A "disintegrating" international coalition
· An anticipated upsurge in violence in the south as the British leave
· Morale problems as casualties rise
· A failure of political will in Washington and/or Baghdad
"The scene is very tense. They are working round the clock. Endless cups of tea with the Iraqis," the former senior administration official said. "But they're still trying to figure out what's the plan. The president is expecting progress. But they're thinking, what does he mean? The plan is changing every minute, as all plans do."
Their biggest headache was insufficient numbers of troops on the ground despite the increase ordered by Mr Bush, the former official said. "We don't have the numbers for the counter-insurgency job even with the surge. The word 'surge' is a misnomer. Strategically, tactically, it's not a surge," an American officer said.
READ THE FULL GUARDIAN ARTICLE HERE