Monday, February 20, 2006

Hard Pressed

The press just can't seem to wrap their brains around the concept that being a unit incapable of independent action doesn't mean that the unit is incapable of fighting. A reporter again asks why there aren't more independent Iraqi units. As if this is really relevant to their ability to fight insurgents and terrorists.

And as if the press wouldn't complain that we were creating a miniature version of the US Army if we were actually trying to create every single capability that we have within the new Iraqi army right off the bat. Can you imagine the press reaction if under those circumstances they started asking questions about why we were wasting time setting up logistics, and training schools, and air defense units when we needed infantry in the field?

I just don't understand why some seem to believe an ally that needs our help to fight somehow doesn't count as a real ally?

Rumsfeld answers:

The Marine Corps can't operate independently. The Army does the combat support for them. Our NATO allies don't operate. We provide, any number of them, we provide enablers -- airlift, intelligence, quick reaction forces. The idea that a police unit in some city in Iraq should be fully capable of conducting totally independent operations anywhere in the country is utter nonsense. This only one unit is a red herring. It is simply a misrepresentation of what's taking place. The Iraqi security forces are getting better every day, every week, every month, and they're doing a very good job, and --

I think I'll characterize it as a question that you pose, is really an assertion that's being made to try to leave people with the impression that the Iraqi security forces aren't capable, and it's false.

I've made the same points myself. Crawl, walk, run. Perhaps the press will eventually get it.