In a recent intelligence assessment, the top Marine intelligence in al-Anbar, Col. Peter Devlin, concluded that without a massive infusement of more troops the battle in al-Anbar is unwinnable.
In the memo, first reported by the Washington Post, Devlin writes, “Despite the success of the December elections, nearly all government institutions from the village to provincial levels have disintegrated or have been thoroughly corrupted and infiltrated by al Qaeda in Iraq.”
Faced with that situation in al-Anbar, and the desperate need to control Iraq’s capital, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace is considering turning al-Anbar over to Iraqi security forces and moving U.S. troops from there into Baghdad.
“If we are not going to do a better job doing what we are doing out [in al-Anbar], what’s the point of having them out there?” said a senior military official.
Devlin’s memo is causing some buzz around the ‘sphere today, notably at INDC Journal, where Bill is getting set to embed with the Corps in Anbar assuming they’re still there come December, and at the Fourth Rail, where Bill Roggio fisks WaPo’s treatment of Devlin’s report in an attempt to show that they slanted the thing deliberately. He makes a good case, but the ABC story makes it considerably harder to believe.
CSM reported on the fitness of Iraqi troops yesterday, including those in Fallujah. They’re not ready.
Update: Meanwhile, the ten wise men and women end their second day of deliberations about troop levels deadlocked.