Iraqi insurgents strong and could get stronger

Iraqi insurgents strong and could get stronger
December 2nd, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Iraqi insurgents strong and could get stronger

Iraqi insurgents strong and could get stronger
WASHINGTON, Dec 1 (AFP) - Despite US claims of progress in quelling the
insurgency in Iraq, it remains as robust as ever with a potential for
becoming a good deal stronger, according to a new study released Thursday.

The study by two veteran defense analysts working for the Washington
Institute for Near East Policy also said the US operation in Iraq was at a
"tipping point" that will last for six to nine months.

"I think the outcome of this tipping period is probably going to dictate
whether or not the US effort in Iraq succeeds or fails," analyst Jeffrey
White said at a lunch unveiling the report.

The study said the insurgency, comprised of nationalists, members of Saddam
Hussein's toppled regime and foreign Islamic fighters, showed no sign of
losing steam 32 months after the US-led invasion.

"Although thousands of insurgents have been killed and tens of thousands of
Iraqis have been detained ... incident and casualty data reinforce the
impression that the insurgency is as robust and lethal as ever," it said.

Moreover, the researchers said, the insurgency has managed to exploit only a
fraction of the disgruntled minority Sunni Muslim population with any kind
of military training.

"Should the insurgency succeed in exploiting this untapped potential, it
could greatly increase its military capabilities," they wrote.

The report was prepared by White, who spent 34 years at the Pentagon's
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and Michael Eisenstadt, a former
civilian-miltary analyst with the US army.

The tone contrasted with the assertion in the "national strategy for victory
in Iraq" unveiled by President George W. Bush on Wednesday that US forces
were making "significant progress" in containing the insurgency.

White and Eisenstadt said the war in Iraq was still winnable. "The path to
victory, however, will be protracted and costly, and is likely to be
puntuated by additional setbacks," they wrote.