Since the Bush administration claims that what is needed in Iraq is not more troops but better intelligence, the leak of a highly critical internal army report last week was an embarrassment for the White House. The report said younger intelligence officers and soldiers in particular were poorly prepared and possessed 'very little to no analytical skills'. There is a major shortage of interpreters, and the report complained they were often misused for errands, such as being sent 'to buy chicken and soft drinks'.What's wrong with this picture?
These handicaps compound the problems of penetrating a society which outside the main cities is tribal, with intense village, district and family loyalties. Betrayal leads to blood feuds and killings: in one case a farmer was forced to shoot his own son for acting as an informer for the Americans; if he didn't, the villagers said they would kill the whole family.
I think the picture is clear, what we've been doing is wrong.