Troops' Departure from Iraq: No Time Soon

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Troops' Departure from Iraq: No Time Soon

As the New York Times noted in this article on Thursday, "The Bush administration has said U.S. forces cannot leave Iraq until American-trained Iraqi security forces are capable of protecting their own country ..."

Well, in that case, our military personnel are likely to be over there for a long time. The Times reports:
Only half of Iraq's police battalions are capable of carrying out operations against insurgents, while two-thirds of army battalions and the rest of the police are no more than "partially capable," according to a U.S. military assessment made public on Thursday.

"Only a small number of Iraqi Security Forces are taking on the insurgents and terrorists by themselves," according to an unclassified assessment provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace ...

Pace's assessment was provided to reporters the same day the Pentagon gave lawmakers, more than a week late, a 23-page congressionally mandated report on the status of Iraq on political, economic and security fronts.

... Pace, poised to become the top U.S. military officer this fall, told lawmakers only about a third of Iraqi army battalions were capable of planning, executing and sustaining operations against insurgents with the support of U.S.-led foreign forces.

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