A Steady Diet of "Meat & Potatoes" Needed

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    Getting Specific
    By Michael Barone, U.S. News & World Report
    December 5, 2005

    Meat and potatoes. Metrics and specifics. That's what George W. Bush provided, finally, for the American people in his speech last week at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Metrics: "80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side by side with coalition forces," "30 Iraqi Army battalions have assumed primary control of their own areas of responsibility," "3,500 new police officers every 10 weeks." Specifics: "Regional support units and base support units have been created across the country"; "an Iraqi military academy, a noncommissioned officer academy, a military police school, a bomb disposal school" ; "Iraqi battalions have taken over . . . the area around Baghdad's Haifa Street."

    And answers to the question: Why didn't we achieve this progress earlier? "Because we learned from our earlier experiences and made changes in the way we help train Iraqi troops." Less time in lectures and more training in small arms. More firepower and training for the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps. Redirecting Iraqi Army units from border control to internal policing. Bush's critics have long pressed him to admit mistakes. He has been reluctant, for fear critics would pounce on any concession. But now he is saying that our military has been doing what every competent military does: learn from mistakes and adapt to circumstances. Franklin Roosevelt's military learned from setbacks and blunders in the Philippines and North Africa. Bush's military has been learning similarly, and arguably more quickly, in Iraq.

    for full article: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-12_5_05_MB.html
     

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