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When mere pessimism is an optimistic analysis

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As grim as last Friday's forecast was in Forecast for Iraq and Afghanistan: taking the pulse of the war on terror, it was the most optimistic, if such an adjective is possible under the circumstances, of a range of options. At its simplest, our present focus on Iraq has done double damage, i.e., for what it has set in motion by its missteps in the region, and for what it has allowed to drift or receive insufficient attention due to the focus on Iraq. Add to that the remarkable inefficiency and squandering of resources in the prosecution of what we have set out to do, and you have a challenge on your hands. If I can turn to it in time, I will elaborate, but for now here are citations I find pertinent to the threats at hand:

Hell to Pay
By Rod Nordland, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Michael Hirsh
Newsweek, Nov 8, 2004 issue

U.S. Hopes To Divide Insurgency
By Bradley Graham and Walter Pincus
Washington Post
October 31, 2004

Why Iraq Will End as Vietnam Did
By Martin van Creveld
Defense and the National Interest
2004

GIs Lack Armor, Radios, Bullets
60 Minutes, CBSNews
Oct. 31, 2004

Provincial Capital Near Falluja Is Rapidly Slipping Into Chaos
By EDWARD WONG
New York Times
October 28, 2004

Video Shows G.I.'s at Weapon Cache
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER
New York Times
October 29, 2004

Rights Group Warned U.S. of Munitions Cache
By William J. Kole
Associated Press
October 31, 2004

Munitions Issue Dwarfs the Big Picture
By Bradley Graham and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post
October 29, 2004

Eyewitness to a failure in Iraq
By Peter W. Galbraith
Boston Globe
October 27, 2004

Quarterly Report of the Office of the Inspector General, Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA-IG)
Stuart W. Bowen, Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General Coalition Provisional Authority
October 30, 2004
Go
here for the report, as well as acronyms, definitions, and all appendices

Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey
Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham
The Lancet
Published online October 29, 2004

Iraq's Prime Minister Faults U.S. Military in Massacre
By EDWARD WONG
New York Times
October 27, 2004

Unprecedented Peril Forces Tough Calls
President Faces a Multi-Front Battle Against Threats Known, Unknown
By Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post
October 26, 2004

US Hoped for Bin Laden Breakthrough: Newsweek
Reuters
Oct 31, 2004 05:50 PM ET

New Video Shows Kidnapped U.N. Workers in Afghanistan
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post
October 31, 2004

"Misunderestimating" Terrorism
By ALAN B. KRUEGER AND DAVID D. LAITIN
September/October 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs
October 12, 2004

China Lays Into 'Bush Doctrine' Ahead of U.S. Poll
By REUTERS
October 31, 2004
Filed at 10:07 p.m. ET

Gordon Housworth



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