ON TO PLAN J….The U.S. military is feeling increasingly bleak about our prospects in Baghdad:

In an unusually gloomy assessment, General [William] Caldwell called the spike in attacks ?disheartening? and added that the American military was ?working closely with the government of Iraq to determine how to best refocus our efforts.?

It is unclear, however, what other options might be available to American military commanders if their current efforts fail.

Caldwell’s suggestion that the attacks are being timed to affect the U.S. midterm elections is pretty silly, though. He knows perfectly well that the civil war got going in earnest after the Golden Mosque bombing in February, and that Ramadan has a lot more to do with the current spike in violence than the American electoral calendar. What’s more, as British Army Chief of Staff Richard Dannatt admitted last week, the coalition presence itself “exacerbates the security problems.” It’s time to take that to heart.

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