Thursday, May 31, 2007

US General Says He May Need More Time to Assess Iraq Surge

By Cernig

Staying in Iraq forever, one Friedman Unit at a time:
The U.S. ground forces commander in Iraq says he might need more time to assess the impact of the new security plan, beyond the September assessment President Bush and the Congress are expecting. Lieutenant General Ray Odierno made the statement Thursday during a news conference via satellite with reporters at the Pentagon.

...General Odierno says the troop surge and the new approach to fighting the Iraqi insurgency are making progress, with increases in the number of coalition operations that find weapons caches, bomb factories and insurgent cells. But he also says insurgents attack every day, and he cautions against excessive optimism. The general says he might not be able to make even an initial assessment of the new strategy by September.

"The assessment might be that I need a little more time," he said. "The assessment might be [that] I've seen enough and it's effective, or I've seen enough and it's not going to be effective. Right now, if you ask me, I would tell you I'll probably need a little bit more time to do a true assessment."
Of course, Bush has already made his assessment - a permanent presence - so this is just a smoke screen designed to fool those with short-term memory problems and to give political cover for Republicans on the Hill.

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