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I have no more of an idea of what the state of play is in Baghdad than I had before I read that briefing.
It only confirmed to me that the place has now become a mad house, but I knew that anyway.
And no coherent plan exists to return things to anything resembling sanity and order in the foreseeable future.
Bit of a cul;ture shock to read a British Army general speaking like an American politician - shades of Blair being one of the guys. Was he drinking tea from a mug as he spoke?
Have to agree with SLR Boy that it does not make a complex situation very much clearer. Restates the official line so far as my reading of it.
So - 6 out of 10 from me.
Does anyone in Washington have the slightest idea what they are talking about?
First question from the press hounds:
One of the most well-known defense analysts here in Washington, Anthony Cordesman, has said the British have been defeated in Basra and that Basra is being run completely by Shi'ite militias. Can you give us your thoughts on that?
A few years back, I had a major run-in with the aforementionned "defense analyst". At the time, probably still is, he was working for the think tank CSIS as well as putting himself around as a TV pundit. Shortly into Op Allied Force, he published his (the CSIS's) 'analysis' of the VJ capability. Since it was one of the most inaccurate and out-of-date pieces of 'analysis' I had ever seen, I thought it might be helpful to contact him and help him out.
Via one of his oppos, there then ensued a brief email exchange. My point being that his entire analysis as to the strength and weaknesses of the VJ in 1999 was based upon two key documents: a 'UN experts' report published in 1994 relating to the JNA circa 1990-1 and a "British Intelligence Source" - yes, that's how he referenced Janes Intelligence Review magazine!!! - which was an article published in 1992 and again referring to the JNA of 1991.
He was none too happy when I pointed out that to remain credible, it would help if he published data on the correct military and not randomly choose another military which had ceased to exist 7 years earlier!
So, taking all that into consideration, Cordesman is probably talking about al-Amarah debacle in 1917!
You know General tomahawk6 US Army retd., some of your analysis bears a striking resemblance to his. Are you aquainted?
If GCM says what he thinks is happening is that things are slowly getting sorted then believe it guys.....he does NOT make things up and I'm also glad to see he still likes to throw quotes in every time he speaks! (The number of Battalion Routine Orders we had to type with quotes from Wellington to Monty!...we used to get "Train Hard Fight Easy" every Friday just before the CO's run! And he beat the entire Battalion in our annual Ironman Triathlon when he was CO, including some VERY fit young PTIs)) Listen to the man - he knows of what he speaks!