"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Monday, July 23, 2007

Interview with General Patraeus

An Update from Kris: Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks
Sickened by the group’s barbarity, Iraqi insurgents are giving information to coalition forces

At some point, can someone tell me of ANY main stream media source that has interviewed General Patraeus and allowed him to answer completely all questions posed without editing? No? Didn’t think so.

The surge has now been fully staffed for 1 month, and with guarded optimism, the General is confident it is working.

Below are some excerpts of Hugh Hewitt's interview with the General, and here is
the link for the entire interview, and the radio broadcast.

This is clearly a breath of fresh air after a stale, smelly old slumber party last night in the Senate. What a pathetic joke.

HH: General, I want to go back to the surge. About how long have you had the full complement of troops that were necessary for the surge in place?

DP: Well, it’s about a month now, Hugh. We received the final Army brigade, the Marine expeditionary unit, and the combat aviation brigade in June, and they all went into operation about the mid part of last month. So it’s about a month that they’ve all been on the ground, and all of our forces have been engaged in what is a pretty comprehensive offensive operation in just about all of the belts around Baghdad, as they’re called, and then in also several neighborhoods in Baghdad that are of particular concern because of the activities in those neighborhoods of al Qaeda, or in some cases, of militia extremist elements.

HH: Now you’re due to make a report back in September, I don’t know if it’s early, mid or late September, General Petraeus, is that enough time to really get a fix on how the surge is progressing?

DP: Well, I have always said that we will have a sense by that time of basically, of how things are going, have we been able to achieve progress on the ground, where the[re] have been shortfalls, and so forth. And I think that is a reasonable amount of time to have had all the forces on the ground, again, for about three months, to have that kind of sense. But that’s all it is going to be. But we do intend, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the ambassador here, and I, do very much intend to provide as comprehensive and as forthright an assessment as we can at that time of the progress that has been achieved, and where we’ve fallen short.

HH: Some of the arguments about Iraq in the United States argue that it’s possible for American troops to withdraw to their bases and just strike at al Qaeda, sort of an Anbar only option, I guess. Does that make any sense to you at all, General Petraeus?

DP: Well, first of all, al Qaeda-Iraq is throughout pretty substantial parts of Iraq, and it is a significant enough network in capability that it is not going to be dealt with just by certainly, if you will, classical counterterrorist operations. Indeed, we are doing those. Our best operators in America and in the world are here in the largest number of anywhere in the world by several multiples, and conducting a very, very high operational tempo, and doing extraordinary operations. When I think back to the operations that we did, for example, going after war criminals in Bosnia, or something like that, you know, and one of those would be a big deal, and you’d dine off that for the next several months. On a nightly basis here, you know, ten or twelve serious operations are going down by those forces.

HH: Wow.

DP: And any one of those is far more significant than we conducted for decades. They are very sophisticated, very complex, very lethal sometimes, and very effective. Having said that, although they may be the most important operations, because they can take down, as they did the senior Iraqi leader in al Qaeda-Iraq, or kill the three al Turkey brothers, or what have you, it is also the weight of the operations conducted by the, if you will, the regular special forces, the Green Berets and the others that make up the special operations task force, and operate throughout the country as a very high operational tempo, and of our conventional forces. I mean, it is conventional forces who cleared Western Baquba. Certainly, augmented by, again, our special forces and our special mission unit elements, but they’re the ones that, you know, killed the 80 or 90 confirmed kill, and perhaps another 80 or so more, and captured a couple of hundred in addition to that as well. And they’re the ones who will hold that area against attempts that have already taken place by al Qaeda and their affiliates to try to get back into those neighborhoods.

Well done Hugh. THis post is my part to get the truth out.