Friday, December 22, 2006

A page from Counterinsurgency History ...

These both just point out the need for some real metrics on progress, some systematic indicators of advance or retreat. Something still long overdue, while so many focused on "strategy" (or what that amounts to, in their mind), troop levels, and disagreements over threat-perception(s).

January 11th, 2006

Kentucky International Convention Center
Louisville, Kentucky

President Bush:

And so the [Iraqi'] army is getting on its feet. We've turned over a lot of territory to the army. And they're good fighters, they really are. I spent a great deal of time with General Abizaid and General Casey -- they were in Washington this past week -- these are generals, you'd be happy to hear, who tell me the way it is, not the way they think I would like it to be. I can't tell you how good the caliber of our military brass -- and those in the field, by the way, all the way up and down the line, are good, they are good people -- (applause) -- better trained, not just numbers, I'm talking about capacity to take the fight and stay in the fight. And as I've said, as the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down. So the strategy, the security strategy is to let the Iraqis do the fighting. It's their country. The people have shown they want democracy. Millions voted. And now part of the mission is to give this government a security force which will help fight off the few who are trying to stop the hopes of the many.

One of the places where we've lagged is training police. There are three types of police. There's a national police force, kind of like a swat team, a national swat team, that can move -- they're pretty well trained. They need some human rights training. In other words, part of the problem in Iraq is you've got people that are plenty irritated at what took place in the past and they're going to use their positions of power to take revenge. You can't have a democracy in which the police don't enforce the rule of law, but enforce their view of revenge. And so you got ethics training, rule of law training -- all done by good troops who are embedded -- who are side-by-side with this Iraqi police force. And it's getting better, it really is.

January 19th, 2006
The Grand Hyatt New York
New York, New York

Vice-President Cheney:
Their efforts [Americans in uniforms] are bringing us closer to the goal we share with Iraq's leaders: a democratic country that can defend itself; a nation that will never again be a safe zone for terrorists; and a model for peaceful democratic reform in a troubled region [?]. When that goal is achieved, all of us will live in a safer world.

Our strategy in Iraq is clear, our tactics will remain flexible; we'll keep at the work until we finish the job. Progress has not come easily, but it has been steady.

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