DIA on Iraq
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Scarborough can be reached at 202/636-3208 or by e-mail at email@example.com.