Wednesday, September 19, 2007

After Petreaus - They Tell Us The Bad News

By Cernig

The Pentagon's report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq has figures on Iraqi violence which are significantly at odds with figures contained in already dubiously accurate charts General Petreaus presented to Congress.

And there's more bad news too.
In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least next July.

...It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as "Provincial Iraqi Control" has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays.

..."If, for example, violence worsened significantly in any of the provinces yet to transition to (Iraqi control) the likely dates for transition of those provinces would be re-evaluated," the report said. It said the main reason for the delays so far is a "lack of capability in the Iraqi police services."

The Pentagon report cited a litany of problems with the police. For example, it said as few as 40 percent of those trained by coalition troops in recent years are still on the job. Also, due to combat loss, theft, attrition and poor maintenance, a "significant portion" of U.S.-issued equipment is now unusable.
It's inconceivable that petreaus didn't already know this when he appeared in front of Congress, so why wasn't it an integral part of his original testimony?

The most likely answer is that Petreaus is a political hack in uniform. Even if he himself had to be ordered to use the massaged figures he did and leave out some significant bad news, he should have refused the order if he was to maintain the integrity and honor expected of a senior officer. If he was willingly complicit in these deliberate misrepresentations, then he needs to be cashiered.

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