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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Quotes of the Morning Add it Up

“King Arthur: Right. One... two... five.

Galahad: Three, sir.
King Arthur: Three.”
-Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“The 115 Iraqi army and special police battalions already declared battle ready […] are still well short of the 185,000 troops a Pentagon spokesman recently cited for total Iraqi security forces.
-Inside the Pentagon, September 15, 2005

“We have more than a hundred Iraqi army and special police battalions participating with us in conducting counterinsurgency operations. “
-Gen George Casey, Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005

“I think we have 86 Iraqi army battalions today that are operating with us.”
-Gen. Richard Myers, Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, September 29, 2005

“I'm encouraged by the increasing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces. Today they have more than 100 battalions operating throughout the country.”
-George W. Bush, October 1, 2005

“Today there are more than 80 Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside our forces.”
-George W. Bush, October 6, 2005

“Until a couple of weeks ago, [Gen. David] Petraeus was in charge of the U.S. effort to train and equip Iraqi forces. In perhaps the most detailed public account so far of the state of Iraq's forces he said 115 army combat and special police battalions were rated as being ‘in the fight.’"
-United Press International, October 6, 2005

“So there are between 80 to 115 battalions of Iraqi army and special police trained and ready to take over for the American troops so that we can get them home. This has to be accurate, because they’ve been excused of stretching numbers before and they don’t want to have it happen again, right?”

“Public statements by Bush Administration officials about the number of ISF personnel grew unrealistic a short time after the invasion, and soon skyrocketed out of control. By June 2004 […] the Administration was claiming that over 200,000 ISF troops had been trained. This estimate […] turned out to be the total number of people on the ISF payrolls, including administrative staff, deserters, and countless others unfit to fight. It also included over 70,000 Facilities Protection Service officers, which have been described as being similar to night watchmen, who had received only one week of training. The Administration was forced to revise its estimate downward to 95,000 within three months, a number which Pentagon documents later proved still to be an overly optimistic assessment.”
-Senate Democratic Policy Committee, September 12, 2005

“So, knowing that earlier numbers were inaccurate, I’m sure that they wouldn’t try to make this sound any better than it really is. I mean, they KNOW that people are going to look into this, so lying or exaggerating would be stupid.”

“GEN. CASEY: We fully recognize that Iraqi armed forces will not have an independent capability for some time, because they don't have the institutional base to support them. And so Level 1, as you'll recall from the slide, that's what's got one battalion. And it's going to be a long time before . . .
SEN. MCCAIN: Used to be three. Now we've gone from three to one?
GEN. CASEY: Pardon me?
SEN. MCCAIN: It was three before.
GEN. CASEY: Right.
SEN. MCCAIN: The previous report was you had three battalions. Now we're down to one battalion.
GEN. CASEY: Right, and things change in the battalions. I mean, we're making assessments on personnel, on leadership, on training.
SEN. MCCAIN: And you . . .
GEN. CASEY: I mean, there are a lot of variables that are involved here, Senator.
-Iraq War Hearings, September 29, 2005

“Ok, so there are 80-115 battalions of Iraqis ready. And one, that’s right one, of them can operate independently, and that number is down from what it was earlier. After two years, 2,000 dead American troops and 15,000 wounded (and that doesn’t even touch on the thousands of civilian casualties) we have one battalion trained. Super. Many thanks to the invaluable Billmon for today’s Quotes.”


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