Saturday, October 01, 2005

Top General Says There’s Just One Capable Iraqi Battalion.

The Associated Press is reporting that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of compact without US support has dropped from three to one, prompting Republicans to question if US troops will be able to withdraw in 2006.

In June, the Pentagon told Congress that three Iraqi battalions were fully capable of independent combat, but on Thursday General George Casey told lawmakers that only one was ready, despite, Casey’s previous statements that “significant progress” was being made. “Have we lost ground? Absolutely not,” said Casey.

Key Republicans on the Armed Services Committee expressed concern over the downward spiral of Iraq security. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said to General Casey, “I don’t see the indicators yet that we are ready to plan or begin troop withdrawals given the overall security situation. And that just isn’t my opinion alone.” Senator Susan Collin (R-ME) added that “It doesn’t feel like progress.”


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