DIA on Iraq

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, di­rec­tor of the De­fense Intelligence Agency, added his voice to other mil­i­tary lead­ers who say a pull­out of U.S. troops is a bad idea.

“DIA judges the con­tin­ued coali­tion pres­ence as the pri­mary counter to a break­down in cen­tral author­ity, which would have grave con­se­quences for the peo­ple of Iraq, sta­bil­ity in the re­gion and U.S. strate­gic in­ter­ests,” Gen. Maples told the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee last week.

Iraqi po­lit­i­cal lead­ers do not fa­vor a civil war or the par­ti­tion­ing of the coun­try, and most po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­ers con­tinue to seek re­straints on their com­mu­ni­ties.

“More­over, DIA judges that Iraqi Arabs re­tain a strong sense of na­tional iden­tity and that most Iraqis re­call a past in which sec­tar­ian iden­tity did not have the sig­nif­i­cance it does to­day,” he said. “Al­though lead­ers across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum who are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the gov­ern­ment con­tinue to talk and search for a pos­i­tive way for­ward, the chal­lenges to bring­ing sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity with a co­he­sive, uni­fied, and ef­fec­tive gov­ern­ment re­main sig­nif­i­cant.”

Bill Gertz and Rowan Scar­bor­ough are Pen­tagon re­porters. Mr. Gertz can be reached at 202/636-3274 or by e-mail at bgertz@wash­ing­ton­times.com. Mr. Scar­bor­ough can be reached at 202/636-3208 or by e-mail at rscar­bor­ough@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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