CIA predicts US situation in Iraq to deteriorate

The CIA is predicting that the security situation in all parts of Iraq - north and south, as well as the central "Sunni triangle" - will get worse.

Use of the word "predict" is intentional, although I think they have it right this time.

The CIA also reports that more Iraqis are supporting the guerillas. Apparently this support is taking the form of people joining the guerilla groups to fight. If this is true, then it certainly means that many more are offering greater passive support to the resistance (e.g., "looking the other way", providing informal logistical help and information, sheltering fighters, etc.). Such support is crucial for the successful guerilla group.

Reasons for this increased popular support include the heavy-handed US response and the occupation's inability to really do anything against the guerillas. Inability to disrupt resistance operations allows guerillas to carry out spectacular and high-profile attacks, reflected in the CIA's statement that fighters now believe they can "inflict bodily harm" on the US. But there's no need to pat the CIA on the back for this analysis - we've been saying similar things here for quite a while, and on much less of a budget.

UPDATE: TPM brings up a Guardian article which mentions that Bremer helped push the CIA report out into the light of day. According to the article, Bremer may have wanted to bypass his bosses in the Pentagon and go straight to the White House:
Although, the report was an internal CIA document it was widely circulated within the administration. Even more unusually, it carried an endorsement by Paul Bremer, the civilian head of the US-run occupation of Iraq - a possible sign that he was seeking to bypass his superiors in the Pentagon and send a message directly to President George Bush on how bad the situation has become.
Attentive readers (all 2 of them) may recall that we suggested Bremer was interested in doing that in early October.

We also work on much of less of a budget than TPM and the Guardian.

As always, it wouldn't be much of a post without highlighting a preposterous quote. Today's comes from a "senior defense official":
"Militarily, this resistance cannot match the U.S. forces. But if they can attack the will of the people and if they can pose the question of why we are involved, that's what they will seek to do."
"Pose the question of why we are involved"... why should we have to rely on the guerillas to do that? Or is this unnamed "senior defense official" admitting that "we" really don't know?

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