Those who can win a war well can rarely make a good peace and those who could make a good peace would never have won the war.
Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), British prime minister and writer
For those that think the media is too liberal, please ask why this story has not been run in any other newspaper than the Detroit Free Press?
Unless something dramatic changes, the United States is heading toward losing the war in Iraq. A Knight Ridder Newspapers analysis of U.S. government statistics shows the U.S. military steadily losing ground to the predominately Sunni Muslim insurgency in Iraq.
The analysis suggests that, short of a newfound will by Iraqis to reject the insurgency or a large escalation of U.S. troop strength, the United States won't win the war.
Military thinkers say insurgencies are especially hard to defeat because the insurgents' goal isn't to win in a conventional sense but to survive until the will of the occupying power is sapped. Recent polls suggest an erosion of support among Americans for the war.
The unfavorable trends are clear:
Combat deaths: U.S. military fatalities from hostile acts have risen from an average of about 17 per month just after President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1, 2003, to an average of 82 per month.
WOUNDED: The average number of U.S. soldiers wounded by hostile acts per month has spiraled from 142 to 808 during the same period. Iraqi civilians have suffered even more deaths and injuries, although reliable statistics aren't available.
INSURGENT ATTACKS: Attacks on the U.S.-led coalition since November 2003, when statistics were first available, rose from 735 a month to 2,400 in October. Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel, deputy operations director of the multinational forces, said Friday that attacks were currently running at 75 a day, about 2,300 a month, well below a spike in November during the assault on Fallujah but nearly as high as October's total.
BOMBINGS: The average number of mass-casualty bombings has grown from zero in the first few months of the U.S.-led occupation to an average of 13 per month.
ELECTRICITY: Electricity production has been below prewar levels since October, largely because of sabotage by insurgents, with just 6.7 hours of power daily in Baghdad in early January, according to the State Department.
OIL: Iraq is pumping about 500,000 barrels of oil a day fewer than its prewar peak of 2.5 million barrels per day as a result of attacks, according to the State Department.
This is something that the American people need to hear. It is not good news, but it shows that the Bush administration has made a tremendous error and needs to find a way to change course.
According to the article, surveys that show 80 percent of Iraqis wanting to vote in the Jan. 30 elections and more than 90 percent opposing violence as a solution to the crisis. In addition, the recruitment and training of Iraqi security forces are being stepped up.
The article highlights some bright spots:
Millions of dollars are pouring into reconstruction efforts in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad and the southern town of Najaf, the scene of intense fighting last year with Shi'ite rebels. Both places are now relatively peaceful, and the danger of a spreading insurgency backed by Iraq's Shi'ite majority has been largely thwarted.
About 14 million Iraqis, mostly Shi'ites, are registered to vote in the elections for an interim 275-seat National Assembly. About 1,500 U.S.-funded reconstruction projects are employing more than 100,000 Iraqis, and the insurgents' campaign of attacks and threats has failed to deter sign-ups for Iraq's new security forces.
Despite these developments, however, the insurgency is getting larger. Through all the major turning points that raised hopes of peace in Iraq, from the capture of Saddam Hussein to the handover of sovereignty seven months ago, the country's insurgency has become deadlier and more effective.
Insurgency grows larger, smarter
At the close of 2003, U.S. commanders put the number of insurgents at 5,000. Earlier this month, Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, the director of the Iraqi intelligence service, said there are 200,000 insurgents, including at least 40,000 hard-core fighters. The rest, he said, are part-time fighters and supporters who provide food, shelter, money and intelligence.
"Many Iraqis respect these gunmen because they are fighting the invaders," said Nabil Mohammed, a Baghdad University political science professor.
Still, the article says that several independent experts expect it would take at least two years before there are any meaningful numbers of Iraqi forces with counterinsurgency skills and as many as five years before the U.S. goal is attained.
This article unfortunately gives some credence to insurgents’ claims about gaining ground, and because of the conservative bend of the country major media is afraid to report this article. Rather than shy from such news, the media should be asking Lawmakers why no one is demanding from the White House a new strategy before voting to add another $80 billion to a poorly planned war effort.