GREEN ZONE BLUES….Dan Drezner links to a piece in the Financial Times today that says even the Green Zone in Baghdad isn’t safe anymore:
At a briefing earlier this month, a high-ranking US officer in charge of the zone’s perimeter said he had insufficient soldiers to prevent intruders penetrating the compound’s defences.
The US major said it was possible weapons or explosives had already been stashed in the zone, and warned people to move in pairs for their own safety. The Green Zone, in Baghdad’s centre, is one of the most fortified US installations in Iraq. Until now, militants have not been able to penetrate it.
Worse and worse. If the Green Zone goes, you can write off the whole country.
A classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush in late July spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq, government officials said Wednesday.
The estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, with the worst case being developments that could lead to civil war, the officials said. The most favorable outcome described is an Iraq whose stability would remain tenuous in political, economic and security terms.
….Its pessimistic conclusions were reached even before the recent worsening of the security situation in Iraq, which has included a sharp increase in attacks on American troops and in deaths of Iraqi civilians as well as resistance fighters.
Nobody’s predictions have been all that great when it comes to Iraq, but in hindsight it turns out that the intelligence community did better than most. October could turn out to be a very grim month.