We hope to transfer authority over the more secure parts of Baghdad to Iraqis over the next 12 months:
"We are anxious for them to take over full responsibility as they are anxious to take full responsibility," Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno, in charge of U.S. forces' day-to-day operations in Iraq, told a Baghdad news conference.
"You will see steady progress over the next 12 months of us turning large portions of Baghdad (over) to Iraqi security forces as we continue to have success. I think it will be somewhere between 40 and 50 percent by the end of the year."
I assume he means up to 50% Iraqi controlled by the end of 2008 and not this year.
This would be good. We have to sustain current trends without the same number of US troops, but with the enemy weakened and Iraqi security forces getting better, this should be doable.
I remain worried that another primary threat will emerge as we subdue Sunni resistance and terrorism and complete the task of disarming Shia death squads supported by Iran.
I worry mostly because Syria and Iran appear to want to beat us in Iraq, and I don't assume they'll stand idly by while we beat our enemies that they currently support in the field.