Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.Stand Up/Stand Down was the end game for Iraq - the talking point that would allow us to declare victory and go home without having to achieve the impossible victory we were once promised. You might naturally ask: "now that we're not standing up the Iraqi Army, what's the new end game?" Answer: we're supposed to "defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces." For those of you paying attention, that is precisely the military victory we're told is not possible.
Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.
No change has been announced, and a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Gary Keck, said training Iraqis remains important. "We are just adding another leg to our mission," Keck said, referring to the greater U.S. role in establishing security that new troops arriving in Iraq will undertake.
In the immortal words of Country Joe, "1, 2, 3, What are we fightin' for?"