Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just curious...

How do these two things match up?

Waiting for GODOT in Iraq by F. J. Bing West Military Review (US Army professional journal) Jan/Feb 2007. (In HTML at US Army Professional Writing, but their 3rd quarter 2006 date for the article is incorrect.)

The U.S. Military strategy must also change. Over the next year, most of the battle space will be handed over to the Iraqi Army, with U.S. Combat units pulling back to be used more as quick reaction and raiding forces against al-Qaeda in Iraq and death squads. American units are not going to continue to occupy Sunni cities and try to win the support of the Sunni population or protect them from the insurgents that were hiding in plain sight among them. Counterinsurgency is no longer central. The primary task has shifted to training Iraqi security forces.

...We are training Iraqi troops to be the cement holding Iraq together in place of Americans. (my emphasis)
From Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy by Nancy Youssef,
McClatchy Newspapers 04/19/07:

Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.
Presumably West's article went to print before the "surge" was announced. But still, are our generals effectively just throwing in the towel on training the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)?

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