Monday, March 12, 2007

Training Day

LA Times:
American military planners have begun plotting a fallback strategy for Iraq that includes a gradual withdrawal of forces and a renewed emphasis on training Iraqi fighters in case the current troop buildup fails or is derailed by Congress.
A "renewed emphasis"? Call me horribly naive, but weren't we supposed to have been doing this all along? It's been a long time since we heard how that "training" has been going, hasn't it? We're not alone. Read this piece about how, as recently as January, the Defense Department refused to provide the government's own internal auditors with a statutorily mandated update. Remember that level one/level two/level three scale for Iraqi troop readiness -- which became "classified" when it was exposed as a farce? By now it's "top secret" I'd guess....

4 Comments:

Anonymous Gus said...

I seem to recall that Iraqification was going swimmingly at least two years ago. I can't remember if it was Condi or Rummy, but someone was insisting that there were 10s of thousands of trained Iraqi troops already. This was at least two years ago. Could someone who is less lazy and has more time look into that?

3/13/2007 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

You want a timeline? You are thinking of the 2004 announcements by Don Rumsfeld saying that "tens of thousands" of troops were equipped and ready to fight on their own. Then we had a spate of stories in the press about how thousands of Iraqi troops took their US training and weapons and joined the insurgency, often in the middle of combat. And how thousands of troops were fictitious numbers on computer rolls, existing solely to increase the salaries of their commanders. Then in September 2005 the actual US military, as opposed to Don Rumsfeld, said the number of reliable combat-ready Iraqi battalions had dropped from 3 to one (i.e., 2000 troops down to 500 or 700). Then, as TCR implies, just as the decline started to look really shocking, all the numbers suddenly got classified. Of course, the fact that the numbers became classified didn't stop Don Rumsfeld from bragging about how many tens of thousands of troops suddenly appeared from thin air between September and November of 2005.

Perhaps the most frightening thing in this whole affair is the possibility that these politicians actually believe the nonsense that they constantly spout to us.

3/13/2007 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Small Axe said...

My understanding of the "surge" was that instead of focusing on training, which wasn't going well enough, we were going to do the job ourselves. That they are talking up training again suggests that the "surge" isn't going to do what Kagan and his supporters said it would.

3/13/2007 5:21 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

HEY!!!! You are not supposed to remember what went down the memory hole! This is a new plan that is sure to work. Big Brother will be knocking on your door to fix you soon enough.

3/14/2007 4:38 PM  

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