American officials have gone to great lengths to make sure the American people understand that the American military cannot possibly be defeated in Iraq.
[T]he attacks launched against U.S. forces in Iraq are not the type required or intended to defeat the United States militarily. But...Washington is not operating in a military vacuum. The strength of the U.S. military means little when faced with an increasingly skeptical U.S. public who has the potential to force Washington to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. In addition, while Washington cannot be overwhelmed by sheer force, there is no evidence that the guerrilla fighters in Iraq can be defeated that way either.
In Vietnam, Washington faced a similar predicament. There was an increasingly organized and brash guerrilla force preventing the U.S. from bringing stability to South Vietnam. Due to the massive technology gap, Vietnamese guerrillas and the North Vietnamese Army stood little chance of defeating the U.S. militarily. Just the same, however, Washington stood little chance of defeating the Vietnamese guerrilla movement militarily.
Whether or not Washington is able to bring stability to Iraq before the U.S. public becomes disenchanted with U.S. objectives there largely depends on the size and capacity of the guerrilla movement. General Abizaid claimed on November 13 that the insurgency against the U.S. occupation "does not exceed 5,000." Yet, at the same time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released a report, titled "appraisal of situation," written by the CIA station chief in Baghdad, which contradicted Abizaid's claims, warning that the insurgency could contain 50,000 guerrillas.
Furthermore, the CIA report concluded that more and more ordinary Iraqis were siding with the insurgency due to their disillusionment with the U.S. occupation and because of the instability plaguing the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein's hold on power. These assessments indicate that the U.S. occupation in Iraq is becoming increasingly precarious, and it is not yet clear how the U.S. public will respond to deadlier and bolder attacks launched on U.S. forces.
In the poll of more than 3,000 homes across Iraq, 79% said they had no confidence in US and UK forces - and 73% had no faith in the Coalition Provision Authority. Just 8% said they trusted US and UK troops.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.