"Support for President George W. Bush's Iraq policy has fallen among the US armed forces to just 54 percent from 63 percent a year ago, according to a poll by the magazine group Military Times.
"In its annual survey of the views of military personnel, the group reported on its website that support for Bush's overall policies dropped over the past year to 60 percent from 71 percent."
The results are unsurprising. Bit by bit, imperial follies in the Middle East are being exposed for what they really are. Read Simon Jenkins in the Guardian talking about Britain's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan (questions that are equally relevant to Australian troops in the country):
"In the next few weeks, an army of 3,400 British troops expects to be deployed to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. This is nearly half the number deployed in Iraq. Everything I have heard and read about this expedition suggests that it makes no sense. British soldiers are being sent to a poor and dangerous place whose sole economic resource is opium. They will sit there as targets for probably the most intractable concentration of insurgents, Taliban, drug traffickers and suicide bombers in the world - until some minister has the guts to withdraw them."
Does anybody believe Western intelligence assessments to not be tainted by political interference? The reports may well be accurate, but after the WMD debacle every intelligence claim should be treated with the upmost scepticism.
We should resist every attempt at forcing a military confrontation with the Islamic state.
UPDATE: Speaking of intelligence failures:
"In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency.
"But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in 'State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.'"