Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A General's Candor on Iraq

A General's Candor on Iraq - washingtonpost.com: "Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus led the 101st Airborne Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the first year of the occupation. Then, for 15 months, he took charge of training and equipping Iraqi security forces, and he returned to the United States last year. Army insiders have said they believe he may return to Iraq next year, perhaps as the replacement for the senior general there, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. Yesterday Petraeus had this to say about sectarian tensions in Iraq, in response to questions at the Brookings Institution:

The February bombing of the gold-domed mosque in Samarra was 'hugely harmful' and a 'very, very devastating blow' to security efforts, he said. 'It took the gloves off the . . . Shia militia,' starting 'a downward spiral that is very hard to arrest. . . . It's had a horrific effect on the security situation,' he said, evidenced by the violence in Baghdad that is 'played out sadly day after day.'

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