What The Congress Should Ask Petraeus

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will be testifying before Congress on Monday and Wednesday, providing his self evaluation of his own military strategy in Iraq. It is no doubt tempting for Democratic members of Congress to challenge General Petraeus' self assessment. My view is that this would be a mistake. The line of argument to take is not to question Petraeus' military assessment. The optics of congresspersons battling on military questions with a 4 star General will not work in the short term.

The line of questioning should be to go above Petraeus's head and question the strategy of President Bush. In short the Surge is failing NOT because of Petraeus, but because the strategy that calls for the military TACTICS Petraeus is employing are failing. I suggest citing the conservative columnist George Will:


The recent National Intelligence Estimate said that although the surge is producing real if uneven security improvements, progress toward political reconciliation has been negligible and might be perishable. Hence the surge is a tactical success disconnected from the strategic objective it is supposed to serve.

(Emphasis supplied.) Here's the argument - General Petraeus' tactical military success is doing nothing to make the STRATEGY in Iraq a success. God bless our wonderful troops, but our President has a failed strategy. In other words, praise the troops, but point out that the strategy of the Commander in Chief in Iraq remains a failure. The question the Democratic Congress must present to the country is how many Americans must sacrifice for an Iraqi government that is unwilling or unable to take the steps necessary to save George Bush's face.

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    My personal #1 question (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 10:26:53 AM EST
    How long can the military groundforces hold out using the current Petraeus/Bush strategy and explain in detail how the number of troops we have and the length of deployments needed can happen while we still maintain our national security?!  I wouldn't allow David Petraeus off the hook one little minute within the parameters of this question.  He is BREAKING the military and he knows it, he's been told by the Pentagon that he is doing it and nobody there will sign their name next to his on this insanity.  He is being a stupid "f"ing @hole and I would be telling him that I was noticing him sort of being that way every second available to me......but that's just me ;)  I know he's a POTUS kissing General but I never told him to shoot for that life goal.  He chose it and this is the whole enchilada of that choice David!

    I think your question is important (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 10:37:27 AM EST
    and I understand your personal desire to have it asked.

    It would be a political mistake imo. Why? Because Petraeus will promise troop reductions in response.

    The failure of the POLITICAL reconciliation (I hate to say it, but American NEVER want to blame Americans, we have to blame the Iraqis to get out) component of the surge is what will work.

    imo of course.


    It just flames me because there are going (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 10:48:18 AM EST
    to be troop reductions.......this current situation cannot stand and everybody but the Dems seems to know this.  The Dems are likely to fund this as is without putting their own plan in place!!!!!!  Then drawdown will begin without any credit given to them, and they haven't really earned it.  We will still be in Iraq "enough" for Bush and Republicans to say they didn't "lose" Iraq and they will have a leg to stand on for all those stupid cocktail party fights about "why we lost Iraq".  The Army and Marines never complain, it's against the freakin code!  They will drag their busted a$$e$ around and other agencies will make reports about how broken they are that will be on page 11, and five years from now 60 Minutes will make some really good broadcasts and be able to interview people who will tell how bad it was and hard the rebuild has been and the perps walk......they are loping out the door as I type.  I'm just flaming onfire about it right now.........such is life sometimes.

    Might be wiser ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:00:26 AM EST
    ... to merely let him know that they will be posing these questions to Secretary, Robert M. Gates, Adm. William J. Fallon, and Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute in separate hearings.  They represent the larger military concerns and responsibilities that need to curb Petraeus' escalation.

    If Petraeus tries to overstep himself that would be a misstep.  I don't think he will; he's ambitious but very smart also.

    Agree with the focus on strategery, and think that should also be taken up in force by Biden & the Foreign Relations Committee.  He was pretty good on that Meet the Press today (not so good on defunding).

    BTW, were Monday & Tuesday hearings changed to Monday & Wednesday?


    Everything is wiser than what I'd really like to (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:14:46 AM EST
    do right now.  Your avenue is sane and the way a functioning government would handle this whole situation.  I have so little faith in a functioning government under the Bush administration.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#6)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:36:32 AM EST
    Agreed.  Part of Bush just wants to delay tough decisions until he's out of office.  Hard to say how much of the military under Gates will do the right thing anyway.  Whether or not they make progress at this, I'm also proposing that this approach would be wise for the Democrats.  It won't be easy and may already be to late to neutralize the Bush-Petraeus PR blitz, but the Democrats can still exercise political leadership.  God, I hope they will.

    You REALLY dont know the military (none / 0) (#45)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 04:53:48 PM EST
    Many, many officers will sign right beside him. The Commander in Chief has directed that it is essential to the security of the United States, and they will give their lives (and yours) to accomplish it, or die trying, however long it takes.

    Your complaint is not with Petraeus. Your complaint is with the idiotic strategy he has been commanded to implement.


    Question him... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by TomStewart on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:48:13 AM EST
    About everything, from where he gets his numbers and how, to how this so-called 'surge' is helping opposed to no 'surge', to how we are going to maintain basic levels, much less a 'surge' level, to his very name. Hell, make him prove and back up all of it!

    This administration is known for its loose      acquaintance with reality, and a political general like Petraeus can be counted on to tow the Bush line. It's the reason he was selected, to help W prolong this debacle until George is out of office, making Iraq someone else's problem. Congress needs to call Petraeus on it, and not let his uniform scare them into handling him with kid gloves.

    We're not stupid, no matter how our media tries to infantilize us. America sees what's going on. A recent poll says over 50% expect the General to tout the 'surge' no matter what the facts, and that Bush will continue to stick to his 'surge' no matter what the report says. It's time for our representatives to stand up and say, 'no more'.

    Don't fund the war it's just that simple (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Saul on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 09:28:59 PM EST
    If you don't fund the war then why can't the democrats say the people have spoken and we are doing what the majority want. Which is what the majority want, to stop the war and bring the troops home.  The majority of the people dont care what really transpires in Iraq after we leave.   If the democrats are afraid of the philosophy that that they will be looked at as the party that did not give the money to the troops then the way out of that thinking is to say  no we are saving lives and since there are no more funds for Iraq it is up to Bush to use the money he has to safely get them out of Iraq and if any more troops get killed then it's on Bush's back and his negligence for not getting them out and he is soley responsible for any more loss of american lives.   Do you think the troops are going to compalint becasue they are on their way out and comming home. Do you think the troops are going to complaing becasue they are not getting another tour in Iraq.   Do you think the parents and friends of these troops are going to complaint because they are coming home.  Do you think any of these people are going to say " Oh no let me stay here just give us more money so we can stay here"   Cannot understand why the democrats are so afraid of losing the election in 08 if they cut the funds.   The majority of the people would love the democrats for doing that.   The idea of having to worry that the radicals in Iraq are going to control a oil rich country if we leave well that has already happened.  Sadamm control Iraq and all the oil in Iraq before we went in.  So what would be different.  Just use the military   that is out of Iraq to monitor and keep whoever is now running Iraq in check.  N. Korea has nuclear weapons and we have just seen recently saw how using diplomacy got them to think on our terms. They are more dangerous than Iraq.  We did not invade N. Korea.   If you can get a country with nuclear weapons to change their mind then why can't you do it with a country that does not have nuclear weapons like Iraq.   You don't need the 60 votes to overturn Bush's veto on the funding bill with a timeline just don't vote at all and that will stop the funds.  End of story.

    Petraus (none / 0) (#7)
    by disgusted on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 11:41:41 AM EST
    Its' all over and done with the hearings are just a matter of formality, proof in the roll over of biden who condemns the war then cops a plea for funding (wonder what company he owns that has a vested interest in the war for oil).

    Congress will go through the motions and name calling that drop on there knees and salivate on the front zipper of the WH and the right wing shame machine.  Then if that isn't enough they will drop their pants and lay down stomach first and ask the PUKES SCUMBAGS and FECAL matter to dick them in the ass. Anyrhing to show they are GUTLESS

    Three years ago, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:06:39 PM EST
    September 26, 2004, The Washington Post ran an article titled Battling for Iraq, saying, in part:
    Helping organize, train and equip nearly a quarter-million of Iraq's security forces is a daunting task. Doing so in the middle of a tough insurgency increases the challenge enormously, making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight -- and while being shot at. Now, however, 18 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.

    The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously in the face of an enemy that has shown a willingness to do anything to disrupt the establishment of the new Iraq.
    I meet with Iraqi security force leaders every day. Though some have given in to acts of intimidation, many are displaying courage and resilience in the face of repeated threats and attacks on them, their families and their comrades. I have seen their determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq.

    Three years ago. The article was written by David H. Petraeus.

    What's taking you, General? Why should anything you say to Congress and the American people now be given any credence whatever and taken as anything more than excuse and apologism and PR for the Petraeus/Bush line?

    Yes, it would be nice, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:16:09 PM EST
    Essentially attacking his partisan political tactic 3 years ago.  The American people will side with the general over the partisan politicians who attack him for being a partisan politician.  He'll just say that the long hard efforts are finally beginning to pay off ... yadadyadyada.

    Sure, of course he would (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:30:36 PM EST
    But that would be the point. Because then he'd be pinned like a bug to his own bullsh*t, and they could move on to some better questions, and watch him look like a deer caught in headlights...

    Wow! (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:06:14 PM EST
    Wow, those are some really excellent questions!

    On many, he would rightly refer to Ambassador Crocker, but he's a worthy strategic target as well.

    I can already hear the constanct refrain question: General, when do you think you'll be able to get back to us with that information?


    Heh. Exactly. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:23:07 PM EST
    But set a trap for him by framing it right first and setting him up to defend his statements three years ago...

    OK, maybe ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:44:25 PM EST
    ... if they can pull if off without looking like they're just being partisan in accusing the general of being partisan.

    I know I'm gonna cringe the first time Petraeus says, "Thank you, Congressman, that's a really excellent question ..."

    Hope to hear something back like, "General, we don't have a lot of time here today, please just limit yourself to excellent answers."


    They are his statements. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:48:35 PM EST
    What is partisan about asking him about his own statements?

    Your statement 3 years ago weren't partisan political tactics, General? Were they?


    Nothing per se (none / 0) (#34)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:00:58 PM EST
    In and of itself, nothing, I'm just wary of politicians falling into the habit of being partisan.  The timing of his statements were clearly partisan, just prior to the last election, but Petraeus wins if they attack him as a politician, for the general gets the benefit of the doubt when attacked by politicians for being partisan.  I guess my real fear is that Petraeus is smarter than most of them.

    Holy Cow! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by robrecht on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 05:38:14 PM EST
    Part of the op-ed read to him, without any challenge to the partisan timing.  Petraeus stands by that op-ed!  Will we be hearing the same thing 3 years from now?  No time for an answer to that follow-up question.

    George Will's column (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:27:16 PM EST
    is informative and thoughtful.  I wish more bloggers would read it instead of excoriating him.  His premise is what is worrying my very liberal friends.  How can the U.S. military pull out of Iraq w/o making sure Iraq has a functioning government, infrastructure, etc.?  Will makes clear our military is not the means to accomplish these goals.  But our government must address whether it plans to stay until these goals are accomplished and how it will remedy the situation.  

    Functioning Government? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:49:19 PM EST
    You mean like ours?

    How can the U.S. military (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:55:47 PM EST
    pull out of Iraq w/o making sure Iraq has a functioning government, infrastructure, etc.?

    The U.S. military presence in Iraq is the reason Iraq does not have a functioning government, infrastructure, etc.

    It shouldn't really be surprising that George Will's premise is what is worrying your very liberal friends. Will's premise is nothing more than a responsibility avoiding republican talking point.

    If the United States leaves Iraq things will really get bad:

    This appears to be the last remaining, barely-breathing argument of that vanishing species who still support the god-awful war. The argument implies a deeply-felt concern about the welfare and safety of the Iraqi people. What else could it mean? That the US military can't leave because it's needed to protect the oil bonanza awaiting American oil companies as soon as the Iraqi parliament approves the new written-in-Washington oil law? No, the Bush administration loves the people of Iraq. How much more destruction, killing and torturing do you need to be convinced of that? We can't leave because of the violence. We can't leave until we have assured that peace returns to our dear comrades in Iraq.

            To better understand this argument, it helps to keep in mind the following about the daily horror that is life in Iraq:          

    • It did not exist before the US occupation.

    My friends are quite aware of how (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:04:05 PM EST
    Iraq ended up as it is today.  On of these friends is a Vietnam vet, very active in a national Vietnam vet political organization, definitely thinks we were wrong to invade Iraq, but sd. recently he doesn't support defunding w/withdrawal by a date certain.  I don't agree w/him, but I'm looking for arguments on the "we borke it and we can't leave until we fix it" point of view.  Will says the military's function and training is not to do the fix.  Seems like the fix lies in negotiation, something the Bush admin. is only willing to do in Anbar province at present.  I just finished reading a history of Burrma.  After WWII, the British occupiers abruptly left.  They didn't have the military resources to stay.  All hell broke loose, but the Iraq is already hellish.

    Thing Is (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:15:47 PM EST
    That no Iraqi's trust us anymore. Thing is that the US does not want Iran, Syria, China, Russia to get any of the rebuilding contract. Thing is that after the bull runs loose in the china shop a bill is sent and the bull is never allowed back in the store.

    All our responsibility is right now is footing the repair bill. As far as calling the shots goes we have done enough of that already and it has only had a bad effect.


    How many times did hell break loose... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:48:44 PM EST
    ...in the U.S. during our bumbling and stumbling slog toward the current state of our "democracy"?

    It's amazing that so many of us actually believe that we, a foreign invader in a war of aggression, can force our political will onto a populace we have thrown into murderous chaos.

    Wanting to believe that we can still "win the game" is one thing (all of us want and wish this could all just end with smiles and hugs), but believing we can win the game with a full-court shot at the buzzer with our eyes closed and using only our feet, and using this as a justification for a miserably failed "policy", is a different thing entirely -- an absurd delusion.  Especially when the policy is putting bullets and shapnel into people's heads and hearts every hour.

    Other peoples must be granted the same ugly freedom we were to determine their own destinies.  Because freedom means the right to be wrong, to say no, especially to us.  Our presence and aid should be bottomlessly humanitarian and militarily almost non-existant.


    bottomlessly? (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:49:53 PM EST
    egad, "humanitarian beyond imagination" would be much better.

    Humanitarians aren't asses, you mean? :-) (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:54:51 PM EST
    "bottomless pit"? (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:54:57 PM EST
    I think that to believe that (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:54:05 PM EST
    The U.S. should be trying to force it's will on Iraqis to quell a "civil war" in Iraq is to believe that some other more powerful country had the right by virtue of greater military power to intervene in the American Civil War for their own benefit.

    I'm also not so sure it's a "civil war" in Iraq as much as it is a war against the occupiers...


    Have to check Wiki, (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:56:07 PM EST
    that infallible, ever fluid source, but didn't England interven in the U.S. civil war.  Something about cotton.

    They may have. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    If so did they have the right to?

    Let's ask Scalia. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:09:45 PM EST
    Ummm... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:11:39 PM EST
    You go first.... I think I know the answer. ;-)

    I know you are (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:13:29 PM EST
    looking for arguments against "we broke it and we can't leave until we fix it".

    I give you all the ones I have.

    There are some other arguments I think are better than mine.

    Iraqi arguments:

    There is only one measure of progress that matters in Irak and that is the progress in chewing the invader forces into pieces and then spitting them out. Progress on that is excellent.

    They came here as predators and now they are prey. The only thing an American understands is force, we sand nig*ers know a thing or two about that.

    Will's premise is the premise (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:30:34 PM EST
    of the "Washington Consensus".

    The Washington Consensus Of Iraq Reality Is Delusion

    One of the things we know Iraqis want is to NOT be occupied by American military.

    Every time Iraqis kill another American soldier, it is, in my view, a "request" to Washington to withdraw all the troops. Some of the puppet government of Iraq would deny that I think. But they are a puppet government, and a large percentage of the social groups in Iraq are rejecting that puppet government and doing their damnedest to force it to collapse.

    Iraqis don't want US troops in their country, and they don't want a US puppet government running their country for the benefit of America. I think that's also undeniable reality.

    The "Washington consensus" is focused only on what the "Washington consensus" wants.

    ...it will not be republicans or democrats, or even the U.S. that fixes it. If Iraq can be fixed it will be Iraqis that fix it. They will, and do, set the benchmarks. I think not recognizing that is delusion.

    Snapshot in time 9/7/07 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:48:19 PM EST
    Will someone please show the Democrats the following poll? Especially questions 5 & 16?

    Question 1. Disapprove of Bush: 65/Approve of Bush: 33
    Question 2. Most important issue in 2008- Hands down Iraq at 35
    Question 4a. Disapprove of Bush handling of Iraq:65/ Approve of Bush handling of Iraq:34
    Question 4b. Disapprove of Bush handling of Terrorism: 56/ Approve of Bush handling of Iterrorism: 46
    Question 5. Wwhich Political Party do you trust to do a better job on Iraq?  Democratic:42/ Repbulican: 31
    Question 7. All in All was Iraq worth it? No: 62/ Yes: 36/ Head in sand: 2
    Question 16. Will Petraeus's report honestly reflect Situation or make it look better than it is? Lies: 53/Truth: 39 Head in sand: 7
    Question 21. US must win in Iraq for WOT to be success? Yes: 54/ No 37/Head in sand: 9

    I'm more concerned about #21 (none / 0) (#16)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 12:56:20 PM EST
    This is why the Republicans could win in 2008 and why Clinton and Obama won't take a clearer stand now.

    Actually I reversed the numbers. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:20:18 PM EST
    Oy! it is the other way around. The majority does not believe we need to win Iraq according to the poll cited.

    Thanks, I feel a little better now! (none / 0) (#23)
    by robrecht on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 01:24:31 PM EST
    Here Are Some More Questions for Petraeus (none / 0) (#37)
    by john horse on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:32:20 PM EST
    Here are some more questions that Congress should ask General Petraeus from Fred Kaplan at Slate.

    The simple question (none / 0) (#44)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 04:49:27 PM EST
    What will any continued presence in Iraq do to prevent the spread of Wahabi Islam and to bring the Saudi's to justice?

    The complex question: Why are we attacking any country who had no hijackers, nor support for Al Qaeda before 9/11/2001, and avoiding attacking those areas and countries that supported Al Qaeda before 9/11/2001? Is it because they are business partners of President Bush and Dick Cheney? Is it because such an attack would devastate our own economy with 10$ gallon oil? Or is it because you are an incompentent military leader, unable to address any strategic issues, only tactical issues of narrow scope?


    What we need to know (none / 0) (#46)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 04:58:22 PM EST
    How will the funds being stolen en masse by contractors and the broken policy of no-bid contracts be repaid to the taxpayers?


    "The Great Iraq Swindle
    How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury
    --From Issue 1034 "

    Are you part of it and why is the CPA being given ANY federal funds given the proven fraud on their part?


    I wondered what they paid him for his soul. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:55:51 PM EST
    Something equally worthless, it turns out.

    O/T (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 02:59:37 PM EST
    Naww. Too old. (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 03:04:48 PM EST
    You're So Bad! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 03:11:06 PM EST
    Besides (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 03:26:50 PM EST
    Probably be no fun for him. They look too willing.

    <rolls eyes like Maher>


    More ::serious:: questions? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 09, 2007 at 10:17:32 PM EST
    Waiting for Gen. Petraeus
    Alan Bock, 08 September 07
    As Bruce Ackerman put it recently in the Financial Times, "he [the president] has made himself a hostage. He needs the general more than the general needs him." It is quite possible that even the bubbled president recognizes that nobody believes him anymore. Even he is talking about a token drawdown of troops in Iraq. If Gen. Petraeus doesn't restore a little credibility to his lame-duck presidency, to whom can he turn?

    So what we may be seeing, as the civilians, perhaps hoping to escape a measure of responsibility for the outcome of this misbegotten war, is a gradual erosion of civilian control over the military and the emplacement of the military even more directly than it already is, at the center of policy-making. For the short run, considering the competence of the civilians in question, that might not be viewed as altogether bad. In the long run, however, it may be yet another reason to be sorry the neocons and Bush and Cheney got us into this mess.

    Marc Ash at truthout (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 06:34:23 AM EST
    has written a four word long article.

    Dear General Petraeus

    What is the mission?

    RawStory this morning (none / 0) (#50)
    by Edger on Mon Sep 10, 2007 at 08:09:14 AM EST
    Pentagon plans base along Iran border
    The Pentagon is preparing to build a base near the Iraqi-Iranian border, in an effort to stem the "flow" of "advanced Iranian weaponry" to Shiite militants in Iraq, according to Monday's edition of the Wall Street Journal.
    "Gen. Petraeus is expected to warn that Iran is expanding its attempts to destabilize Iraq by providing Shiite extremists with lethal weaponry such as advanced roadside bombs capable of breaching even the strongest U.S. armor," the Journal says.
    The link in the RawStory article is to the WSJ sub wall. The full WSJ article is here at IranFocus.