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US cannot stop insurgency in Anbar province where Al Qaeda is major force

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A report from Marine Corps intelligence paints a very disturbing and bleak portrait of Iraq's Anbar province. It's a disaster. And, Al Qaeda has been the beneficiary:

Devlin suggested that without the deployment of an additional U.S. military division -- 15,000 to 20,000 troops -- plus billions of dollars in aid to the province, "there is nothing" U.S. troops "can do to influence" the insurgency.

He described al-Qaeda in Iraq as the "dominate organization of influence in al-Anbar," surpassing all other groups, the Iraqi government and U.S. troops "in its ability to control the day-to-day life of the average Sunni."

Al-Qaeda itself, now an "integral part of the social fabric of western Iraq," has become so entrenched, autonomous and financially independent that U.S. forces no longer have the option "for a decapitating strike that would cripple the organization," the report says. That is why, it says, the death of al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al- Zarqawi in June "had so little impact on the structure and capabilities of al-Qaeda," especially in Anbar province.
So all that celebrating about the death of al-Zarqawi was premature. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but Al Qaeda, the organization that attacked America on 9/11/01, wasn't a factor in Iraq before we invaded.

Just when you think things can't get much worse in Iraq, they're worse. Way worse.

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