INTEL DUMP – Seeing the war through the wrong eyes:
So when I read the Iraq Study Group report yesterday, I read through the panel's 79 recommendations and eventually made my way to the report's appendix. There I found a list of persons consulted by the Iraqi Study Group — a long and distinguished list, to be sure. But one group of people seemed to be conspicuously absent from the list.
Grunts. Not just infantrymen, but military enlisted personnel and junior officers generally. I don't see any officers below the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel listed in the ISG's report. And there are zero enlisted personnel listed.
Update: Kevin Drum noticed something else that isn't there.
The whole report is rehashing Baker’s 1991 approach to Iraq. Give Lebanon to Syria, give Israel to the Arabs Israel, talk to everyone and pretend that the 1991 preamble will solve the post amble in 2006 Iraq. Of course Democracy isn’t mentioned; it wasn’t mentioned in 1991.
The grunts weren’t asked to participate for Kerryesque reasons. Their opinions have been available via blogs and (gasp) Fox news for some time. I doubt you would agree with the general consensus of the soldiers. Better to sweep it under the rug. Besides, you’re missing the real message of the report. First the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be fixed. Duh.
Promoting democracy sounds good and all, but it was never going to happen. At this point, the only goal for the U.S. should be to have some semblance of order and stability, nothing more.