Friday, September 3, 2010

AP agrees: war not over

Via Jari Lindholm (whose blog seems to have been taken down, unfortunately) on Twitter, I came across this directive from the AP's Standards Center. It states, among other things, that

combat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The situation on the ground in Iraq is no different today than it has been for some months. Iraqi security forces are still fighting Sunni and al-Qaida insurgents. Many Iraqis remain very concerned for their country's future despite a dramatic improvement in security, the economy and living conditions in many areas.

As for U.S. involvement, it also goes too far to say that the U.S. part in the conflict in Iraq is over.

It's worth reading the whole thing, both as a reminder of the continued violence in Iraq and as a way to help you understand the media's thinking in coverage of that ongoing violence.


  1. You misspelled Lindholm's blog address. Try 'wordpress' instead of 'wordpess' and you'll get there.

  2. "Combat" is not over, nor is the U.S. involvement. But I don't think that is the explicit or implied message of the administration. The conventional units remaining in Iraq have a different set of missions. They are not there to hunt down AQI and other riff-raff. They are there to train and advise the ISF. That's my understanding anyway - am I completely wrong here? And if I'm right, what the heck is AP talking about?

  3. Gulliver, assume you have read the latest 9010 report. In the latest 3 month period the average number of violent incidents in Ninevah province per day fell to less than 2. [From the graph it looked like about 1.7 or so]

    Ninevah was the last stronghold of the Baa3thists and Al Qaeda in Iraq. Sure they have their sanctuaries in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and some Gulf states from which they try to attack Iraq. But their attacks are no longer militarily significant . . . they have been defeated inside Iraq.

    Iraq now has a terrorism problem rather than a war. Not as severe as Pakistan's, but still a very big terrorism problem.

    Iraq today has less per capita violence and a lower per capita violent death rate than Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many other countries.

    If you define Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan as being in civil wars, then yes Iraq remains in civil war. It comes down to your definition of war and civil war.

    Schmedlap, the remaining 6 US brigades are FID centric augmented advise and assist brigades. They have an excess complement of officers and civil affairs to focus on their Iraqi capacity building mission, and providing enablers to Iraqis during a transition period. Their largest role is to build IMoD capacity. The State Department is taking over IMoI capacity building. The Advise and Assist Brigades will likely help the State Department build non IMoD Iraqi capacity as well, even though State is in the lead for those functions.

    Gulliver, there are rumors that IMoD is considering buying Chinese fixed wing supersonic aircraft. Naturally the IMoD wants many things and IMoD is lucky if the council of representatives funds a quarter of their procurement requests, so take this IMoD interest with a grain of salt. On the other hand the Chinese as Iraq's largest investment and trading partner have been developing good relations with many Iraqi politicians if you know what I mean. Iraqis are upset that FMS doesn't allow for greasing the wheels money. Chinese procurement would be outside FMS and the Chinese aircraft companies are known to be "generous" to decision influencers in aircraft purchasing countries. If Chinese aircraft are selected, there will likely be a large Chinese advisory force sent to help the IqAF.

    Curious about your thoughts on what supersonic light attack or multirole aircraft you think IMoD should buy. The shortlist includes attack L15 versions and JF17s from China, F/A 50s from Korea, French Rafaels, US F16s. The IqAF trainer competition is between T50s and L15s. Russian aircraft aren't being seriously considered because IMoD doesn't like Russian aircraft.