Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Training Day...Some Other Day

A couple of weeks ago I wondered if there had been any recent update on how the training of Iraqi troops was going. There's been little information about this since the Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 classification was exposed as a farce, after which the state of Iraqi troop readiness became "classified" and the Bush administration refused to inform even the U.S. government's internal auditors. Of course one can argue that training Iraqis is useless (and even counterproductive) until problems like sectarianism and corruption are resolved. But the fact remains that some semblance of a functioning Iraqi military is crucial to any U.S. departure.

This McClatchy piece from late last week confirms what we pretty much knew:
Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.

No change has been announced, and a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Gary Keck, said training Iraqis remains important. "We are just adding another leg to our mission," Keck said, referring to the greater U.S. role in establishing security that new troops arriving in Iraq will undertake.

But evidence has been building for months that training Iraqi troops is no longer the focus of U.S. policy. Pentagon officials said they know of no new training resources that have been included in U.S. plans to dispatch 28,000 additional troops to Iraq. The officials spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to discuss the policy shift publicly. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made no public mention of training Iraqi troops on Thursday during a visit to Iraq.

U.S. officials said they once believed that if they empowered their Iraqi counterparts, they'd take the lead and do a better job of curtailing the violence. But they concede that's no longer their operating principle.
To sum up:

1. More troops than ever in-country, with more on the way.
2. Every poll shows that most Iraqis object to our presence and approve of attacks on U.S. troops.
3. Any pretense of training Iraqi troops is now gone, and so...
4. No realistic or viable exit strategy, and no real desire to leave.

At various levels of discourse on Iraq, I'm seeing the word "occupation" appear more and more instead of "war." That's good. If we're going to get out of this mess, it's essential that we at least use appropriate words to describe it, and not those words (war, front lines, etc.) the administration and its dwindling supporters need people to use.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bye, bye Bush. Using the Patriot Act for industrial spying is a big no-no.

Mrs P

4/24/2007 8:31 AM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

indeed. go hither:


4/24/2007 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At what point do Americans join the Iraqi insurgency so that we can get this war over with.

4/25/2007 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This war will never end because Zionists control both political parties. Only Israel benefits from these endless Middle East wars. Iraq is the beginning. As we commit war-crimes in Baghdad, the US gov't commits treason at home by opening mail, eliminating habeas corpus, using the judiciary to steal private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, America Deceived (book), conducting warrantless wiretaps and engaging in illegal wars on behalf of AIPAC's 'money-men'. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran.. Then we'll invade Syria, then Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon (again) then ....

4/25/2007 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Gus said...

My memory is faulty. Didn't Condi or Rummy say two years ago that they had in excess of 100,000 Iraqi troops already trained? I could probably search for that, but I am extremely lazy.

4/25/2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger David S./ Southern Calif. said...

To Gus,
If they said it, it was a damn lie anyway, so what does it matter?

4/25/2007 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gus, it was George W. Bush who said that in a debate with John Kerry. And David S. is right. It was a flat out lie.

4/27/2007 12:13 PM  

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