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September 19, 2008

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Eaton is a great choice. He got very favorable commentary in the book Hope is Not a Plan which was written by active duty officers assigned to review Iraq from the inside. Their conclusion was that there was a lack of robust strategy, preparation, communication, coordination, and understanding of the local cultures, the nature of the resistance, and the local politics in Iraq by coalition forces.
While Eaton got a thumbs up, Gen. David Petraeus was faulted for his plan. The book came out in early 2007 before Petraeus understood the impact of Abu Massab al-Zarqawi's 2004 letter to bin Laden in which he advocated attacking the Sunnis which eventually lead to the Sunni's attacking al Qaeda in Iraq ... and the development of the Sons of Iraq (as DOD named them) or the Awakening Councils (as Iraqis call themselves). Petraeus built on that to change the approach in Anbar Province (paying soldiers keeps them quite). I have a hunch that Eaton will highlight the Sons of Iraq and not the American Surge as the prime effect on the change in Iraq's violence.

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