Hiding the Progress in the Iraq War
GW has already said Iraq is a different kind of war… there will be no surrender at the end of it. (Maybe that’s a good thing – one can only imagine the signing statement he’d put on a surrender document.) The definition of victory in Iraq changed a few times… now its seems to be getting the Iraqi military to the point where they can take over the fight against the enemy (and who the enemy might be is equally unclear to the administration) allowing US troops to come home
Via Steve Benen, we learn
“[t]he Defense Department has resisted auditors’ efforts to obtain data on the military readiness of U.S.-trained Iraqi troops.
Comptroller General David M. Walker told audience members at a Government Executive breakfast Wednesday that Defense has not complied with repeated Government Accountability Office requests for evaluations of Iraqi troop preparedness, known as transitional readiness assessments. The Pentagon develops those evaluations for Iraqi and U.S. forces, Walker said, and has a statutory obligation to release them to GAO.
“We’ve received high-level briefings that are helpful, but not adequate,” Walker said. He said he has yet to see the requested information, but Defense Deputy Secretary Gordon England has agreed in principle to turn it over.”
“Walker said he expected to find some embarrassing information that would account for the battle over obtaining them. “You just can’t go by how many people you trained,” he said. “Of the people that you’ve trained, how many are left? To what extent do they have loyalty to the unified government of Iraq? To what extent are they properly equipped? To what extent do they have appropriate support?” “
“The most recent attack data, released as part of GAO’s report this month on key issues for Iraq-related congressional oversight, showed that attacks on Iraqi security forces, Iraqi civilians and coalition forces have followed a wavering upward trend since early 2003, reaching a total of between 5,000 and 6,000 in October 2006. The majority of those were on coalition forces, according to the data.
The report also showed that roughly 300,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped to date, and that about 80 Iraqi army battalions are leading counterinsurgency operations. The readiness assessments would lend additional insight into those figures. “
GW has said the surge will work because it has to work. Since the moving goalposts are no longer credible, what’s to keep them from simply declaring victory and going home?