Just to prove I don't only read and/or link positive reports on the war, I have two new ones for you:
Hackworth's latest details an ARVN-worthy combat encounter by the newly minted Iraqi Army, and provides solid advice for what it takes to get that to stop:
Sure, the key to pulling our military out of Iraq is to transfer all security operations to the Iraqi forces. But since it usually takes at least 10 years to build an army, that exercise is easier said than done. The answer, of course, is leadership – not Madison Avenue-type hype – coupled with “more sweat” training similar to the tough curriculum that converted the South Korean army from rabble into an elite force.
Iraq Now (which probably needs a name change now that he's back in-country) linked up this Slate article detailing the logistics, and the logistical snafus, that are far more responsible for our "failure" in Iraq than any set of smelly guerillas:
A December 2003 study by the Army War College concluded that the war in Iraq had stretched the force to near its "breaking point." The cumulative effect of logistical problems, spare parts shortages, and unprepared reserves is that the Army will be significantly less ready to fight for the next several years. Should another threat appear on the horizon, these issues will make it exceedingly difficult for the Army to respond with anything close to the force it mustered to invade Iraq last year.
These are the kinds of reports you and I need, because they provide us with a plan of action. Tell me we're failing because the Iraqis don't "like" us and I'll just laugh a sick, sad laugh. Tell me we're failing because the perfumed princes of the pentagon are preening instead of practicing (ha!), or that our boys don't have enough bullets, well, that's a totally different matter altogether.