It seems that a group of senior US intelligence analysts are pessimistic about the situation in Iraq. I'm sure this will come as a galloping shock to the "But we painted the schools!" crowd, but this is pretty much exactly what made me so wary about going to war in Iraq in the first place. According to these analysts, at best we can expect that the situation will continue to be "tenuous in terms of stability", while at worst there are "trend lines that would point to a civil war."
The all-important metric in Iraq, for way too many people, has been the removal of Saddam Hussein and nothing else. I fail to see how the possibility of civil war within a few years over there is a substantial improvement over a brutal tyrant, but that's just me. I wanted things in Iraq to get better, not just crappy in a different way. (And I certainly didn't want the latter if that "different way" meant substantially more headaches for US security, as I suspect is likely to happen.)
Here's a particularly chilling graf:
The intelligence estimate, which was prepared for President Bush, considered the window of time between July and the end of 2005. But the official noted that the document, which spans roughly 50 pages, draws on intelligence community assessments from January 2003, before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the subsequent deteriorating security situation there.
So our government now pretty much admits that things haven't been getting better in Iraq. Our government, that is, except the folks who work in the West Wing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
(Of course, it would also be heartening if Senator Kerry would start trying to elucidate just how he might alleviate this problem. I have no problem voting against President Bush on the basis of his incredibly crappy results, but I'd also like to be able to vote for something.)