August 24, 2007

J.D. JOHANNES, who’s recently back from Iraq, looks at the new National Intelligence Estimate and observes: “This NIE is catching up to conditions on the ground that were developing months ago.” The full document is here in PDF, but J.D. notes this paragraph from the conclusion that hasn’t gotten much media attention:

We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqi forces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safehaven would erode security gains achieved thus far. The impact of a change in mission on Iraq’s political and security environment and throughout the region probably would vary in intensity and suddenness of onset in relation to the rate and scale of a Coalition redeployment. Developments within the Iraqi communities themselves will be decisive in determining political and security trajectories.

Doesn’t sound like what John Warner is talking about.

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