By Shawn Brimley Having spent a little time in Iraq last month (with my co-bloggers and colleagues Colin and John), I was extremely impressed with the security gains there, but came away very concerned about how sustainable they are absent more political progress. I won't rehash all the arguments over...
By washingtonpost.com | September 11, 2008; 02:43 PM ET | Comments (4)
By John Nagl There is a town where I served in Iraq, south of Baghdad in the al-Anbar province, named Mahmoudiyah. Since the insurgency began attacks there have been so frequent and severe that it came to be called the "Triangle of Death." The area suffered 35 attacks a week...
By washingtonpost.com | September 10, 2008; 06:25 PM ET | Comments (4)
By Colin Kahl There are two NPR stories worth listening to on declining U.S. influence in Iraq and the challenges that presents for achieving "sustainable stability" -- that is, a degree of stability that can be maintained as U.S. forces draw down. As our presence diminishes, Iraqi sovereignty concerns intensify,...
By washingtonpost.com | September 10, 2008; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (3)
By Erin Simpson Good morning, and thanks to the Post for hosting this motley crew. Some of you may know me better as "Charlie" from Abu Muqawama, but I promise to neither blog in the third person nor subject you to my fashion commentary here. Following on Colin's discussion on...
By washingtonpost.com | September 10, 2008; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (9)
By Colin Kahl Hello there. I want to thank Phil Carter for inviting me to be part of the team pinch-hitting for him while he's away. For my first post, I wanted to say a few words about al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Bob Woodward claims in his new book "The...
By washingtonpost.com | September 9, 2008; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (3)
A top general is overly optimistic about the readiness of Iraqi Security Forces.
By Phillip Carter | July 10, 2008; 08:48 AM ET | Comments (8)
One soldier's struggle with PTSD after Iraq ends in tragedy.
By Phillip Carter | July 8, 2008; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
Fierce fighting in Mosul erupts over the past few weeks.
By Phillip Carter | July 7, 2008; 12:00 AM ET | Comments (0)
Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, is no shrinking violet. Like his boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he has worked hard over the past several months to demonstrate that he takes an independent, fact-based approach to the problems of the day, whether the issue is...
By Phillip Carter | July 3, 2008; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (0)
I was saddened yesterday to read a press release from the Pentagon announcing the death of Chief Warrant Officer Robert Hammett, who was killed in action on Tuesday in Sadr City along with Maj. Dwayne Kelley of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion. I knew Chief Hammett and served with him...
By Phillip Carter | June 29, 2008; 06:00 AM ET | Comments (7)
The site of Sunday's suicide bombing was 500 meters from where I was based during my tour in Iraq.
By Phillip Carter | June 25, 2008; 08:38 AM ET | Comments (0)
Via The Post and the military's press shop in Baghdad, it appears that the first military prosecution of a civilian contractor in Iraq has ended in a guilty plea. According to today's news story: [T]he U.S. military announced that a Canadian man working as an interpreter for the U.S. military...
By Phillip Carter | June 24, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (4)
A GAO study finds there's a good plan in Iraq -- but no strategy
By Phillip Carter | June 24, 2008; 09:37 AM ET | Comments (7)
Over at Abu Muqawama, Dr. iRack reads coverage of the security situation in Iraq the New York Times and The Post, and provides a great laydown of the key points on the road ahead. He covers signs of progress (violence levels down; Iraqi security forces improvements; Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's...
By Phillip Carter | June 23, 2008; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (2)
Evaluating the U.S.-Iraq negotiations over a new status of forces agreement.
By Phillip Carter | June 17, 2008; 09:04 AM ET | Comments (0)
An Iraqi puppy reminds a U.S. soldier of his own humanity.
By Phillip Carter | May 21, 2008; 01:22 PM ET | Comments (19)
The scenario he offers is completely divorced from reality.
By Phillip Carter | May 16, 2008; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)
Counterinsurgency in Sadr City may prove to be tougher than Iraq's Anbar province.
By Phillip Carter | May 12, 2008; 12:30 PM ET | Comments (28)
A new urban redevelopment plan for the Green Zone? Sweet! I've got Marriott points!
By Phillip Carter | May 7, 2008; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)
Richard Perle takes disingenuousness to new heights.
By Phillip Carter | May 5, 2008; 07:46 AM ET | Comments (37)
The US government was far from "clueless" about counterinsurgency.
By Phillip Carter | April 29, 2008; 03:29 PM ET | Comments (0)
A potential political deal is huge news.
By Phillip Carter | April 24, 2008; 05:20 PM ET | Comments (2)
A new report on Iraq war planning failures is creating quite a stir.
By Phillip Carter | April 18, 2008; 09:13 AM ET | Comments (5)
It has become axiomatic to point to many different reasons for Iraq's improved security situation -- the presence of more U.S. troops, the completion of Iraq's ethnic cleansing campaigns, demographic changes, and political deals with Sunni and Shiite leaders calling for an end to their violence. Of all these, the...
By Phillip Carter | April 14, 2008; 09:44 PM ET | Comments (0)
In an interview with ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz Friday, President Bush attempted to clarify what he meant by saying that Gen. David Petraeus will have "all the time he needs" to prosecute the effort in Iraq. Bush claimed that he didn't want to suggest that America will stay in...
By Phillip Carter | April 14, 2008; 07:14 PM ET | Comments (0)
How to balance tour lengths against the learning curve of counterinsurgency training.
By Phillip Carter | April 12, 2008; 09:13 AM ET | Comments (0)
Even a 12-month tour is a real hardship.
By Phillip Carter | April 11, 2008; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (19)
Following two days of testimony to Congress by his top soldier and his top diplomat in Iraq, President Bush announced today that he would accept their recommendations and keep 140,000 American troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Or at least until Jan. 20, 2009, when he leaves the White...
By Phillip Carter | April 10, 2008; 04:00 PM ET | Comments (52)
White House cheapens the valor of Navy SEAL by scheduling his medal ceremony for same day as Congressional testimony.
By Phillip Carter | April 9, 2008; 12:01 PM ET | Comments (28)
Petraeus and Crocker overstate the threat posed by al-Qaeda and the success of the surge.
By Phillip Carter | April 9, 2008; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (0)