The Iraqi Defense Minister’s Timeline

Via Atrios and Kevin Drum,this story in the NY Times:

The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.

Those comments from the minister, Abdul Qadir, were among the most specific public projections of a timeline for the American commitment in Iraq by officials in either Washington or Baghdad. And they suggested a longer commitment than either government had previously indicated.

Pentagon officials expressed no surprise at Mr. Qadir’s projections, which were even less optimistic than those he made last year.

Presumably, the fighting won’t still be ongoing fifteen years after the 2003 invasion. Very few wars last that long (though it does happen). Which means what? Training Iraqis? I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again… how long does it take to train Iraqi forces?

Update… a little something about what this does to US military preparedness.