Tina Susman of the LAT finds that the privates and specialists among US troops in Iraq are dismissive of the ‘happy talk’ they hear from Bush and some of their commanders about the way the war is going. They see the realities on the ground, they lose friends to roadside bombings, they see evidence that the Iraqi Army is not trustworthy. So ‘happy talk’ doesn’t impress them.
Meanwhile, among the high generals, there is a dispute about how fast to draw down troops from Iraq. Gen Peter Pace seems to be denying it now but it was rumored that he might suggest going down to less than 100,000 in 2008.
Big database, small arrest yield. Raises fears for civil rights and privacy considerations.
Reuters rounds up civil war violence on Iraq for Friday. Among the incidents:
BAGHDAD – At least 13 people were killed in clashes between U.S. forces and gunmen in the Shula district of northwestern Baghdad overnight, a police source at a hospital said. U.S. force said they killed eight militants in the clash.
At the group blog, Barnett Rubin posts the first of three installments on the drug problem and Afghanistan.
Speaking of which, remember how some Pentagon spokespeople keep saying that explosively formed projectiles must come from Iran even when used by Sunni Arab Iraqis? Well, what about this report that EFPs with a distinct signature are being used in Afghanistan? There is no evidence for an Iranian provenance over there. And Afghanistan is a fourth world country compared to Iraq.