Saturday, February 25, 2006

Three, one, zero

Regarding its performance in Iraq, the Bush administration's best hope at this point is for the American citizenry to be stricken with amnesia. Here's today's case in point:
In a paragraph buried within the Pentagon's quarterly report that was released on Friday, it was stated that while more and more Iraqi security forces are being trained, there is not a single Iraqi battalion that can operate on its own without American assistance.
That's quite interesting, because last September, the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, testified on Capitol Hill that one Iraqi battalion was capable of operating without American assistance.
And a few months before that, the Pentagon announced that three battlions were capable of operating without American assistance.
Non-amnesiacs might well ask these questions: how does this backsliding square with the ongoing administration assurances that "progress" is being made? And if the independent battalions have indeed gone from three to one to zero, how might that affect the administration's announced desire to begin pulling out U.S. troops this year (Bush on Friday again: "As the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down")?