http://www1.rollingstone.com/extras/RS_REPORT.pdf (84 pages)
just went through this. here are some "bullet points" as the pentagon would say
1. The pentagon are convinced they can win the whole war by simply saying they are winning it.
2. there's a startling correlation between casualties and troop presence. more troops means more targets for the Taliban.
3. the statements of the generals are at odds with the facts and their own actions but the press doesn't notice or care.
4. FCS or future combat systems has been a total failure from day one. Nothing that has been made in this program has ever made it to the battle field.
my own commentary here: the duration and delusion about FCS mirrors that of the afghanistan mission.
Once again, the GAO is the only one with anything smart to say on this and their straightforward commentary included in the report seem to come from another planet.
5. Gen Petreaeus deserves much credit for the surge but not for the reasons we are generally led to believe. In a nutshell, what he did was help spread what became known as the Sunni awakening from Anbar where it had started before he had arrived, into Baghdad.
There was internal conflict between Al Queda and the Sunni's in iraq. They eventually turned on each other and this was indeed fortunate for the US's purposes.
6. General Lute, Obama's deputy guy on the two wars, is a good guy but everyone else is pretty delusional and Obama has very little option but to listen to all these big swinging dicks like Gates, Patreaus etc
7. There was no plan on the part of sunnis in Iraq to have an insurgency, they believed the US was there to liberate them from saddam. The trouble came when the de bathification program took effect. They saw it as more of an anti sunni policy and the insurgency slowly began. Then Al Zarqawi arrived. The iraqis were wary of him and didn't want to be associated with Al Queda, they were just focused on Iraq not the whole al Queda thing. Zarqawi brought alot of money and fighters and so forth in, but his brutal terrifying tactics and killing at the drop of a hat turned people off. Sunnis eventually turned to America to rid themselves of Al Queda, who were seen as out of control. Some of the incidents recounted in the report of al Quedas tactics are revolting. and they were targetting sunnis and this was too much for sunnis to bear.
Zarqawis al queda comes off as nihilistic in the extreme.
8. The above situation is not applicable to Afghanistan. The idea that we created some sort of template for fighting insurgencies via the surge is wrong.
9. Poeple in Afghanstan don't by in to into bullet point number 1. at all. In fact, it annoys them greatly. Theres a growing perception not just in Afghanistan but around the world that the US doesn't say what it means and also doesn't know what it's talking about.
10. According to the Afghan media, The taliban assassinated hundreds of Afghanistans officials last year.
11. He lists questions for senators he wants asked but they were redacted.
12. congress is clueless because they only get what the DOD gives them. most of the military contractors are told more than congress about what is happening on the ground.
13. the selction of the next chairmen of the joint chief of staff is crucial and he recommends a "straight shooter" named General Martin Dempsey.
14. Us and our high tech weaponry and 40 NATO allies have been unable for the last ten years to defeat "a bunch of dudes in bed sheets and flip flops".
15. The Taliban were more or less totally defeated in 01, somehow they've gradually come back and are now convinced they HAVE won.
16. he feels the Taliban would not likely let Al Qeeda back in because they got attacked by the US and nearly driven out of existence over harboring them.
17. and the worldwide reach of the network of al queda and its co horts means they probably would not ask anyway.