Monday, October 03, 2005

Last One to Leave, Please Turn On the Lights

Last One to Leave, Please Turn On the Lights: "Before Congress, however, Casey painted a rather different picture of the Iraqi national-army-that-isn't. In fact, on a crucial point, his testimony bore little relation to the assessments that either George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld claimed they had heard. Last June, the Pentagon informed Congress that three Iraqi battalions were finally at 'Level 1' of preparedness -- that is, 'fully trained, equipped, and capable of operating independently' of U.S. forces. On Thursday, Casey lowered this estimate to one battalion (evidently not even one of the previous three), calling it a 'step backward.' In other words, of the 100-plus battalions in the American-created Iraqi army, only one -- perhaps 1,000 soldiers -- is capable of heading off on its own to fight, out of sight of its American protectors. Donald Rumsfeld has often talked about the 'metrics' of success. Well, here's perhaps the most significant metric we have on the Iraqi military -- the essence of what passes for a Bush administration plan for the pacification of Iraq -- and it speaks the world."

Two years of "hard work, working hard".


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