Friday, March 02, 2007

Report: Petraeus 'Brain Trust' says war must be won in 6 months

David Petraeus delivering a speech at Princeton, where he earned a PhD in International Studies

An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq - or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.

The officers - combat veterans who are leading experts in counter-insurgency - are charged with implementing the "new way forward" strategy announced by president George Bush on January 10. The plan includes a controversial "surge" of 21,500 additional American troops to establish security in the Iraqi capital and Anbar province.

But the team, known as the "Baghdad brains trust" and ensconced in the heavily fortified Green Zone around the US embassy, is struggling to overcome a range of entrenched problems in what has become a race against time, said a former senior administration official familiar with their deliberations. "They know they are operating under a clock. They know they are going to hear a lot more talk in Washington about 'Plan B' by the autumn - meaning withdrawal. They know the next six-month period is their opportunity. And they say it's getting harder every day," the former official said.

Read the rest at the Guardian

Related Link:
Perspective: Petraeus assembles counter-insurgency 'brain trust'

Related Link:
Petraeus: Mercenaries vital part of effort

Related Link:
Petraeus says U.S. may use notorious Iraqi FPS security forces in Baghdad push