OK, Messrs. Tabin and Melville. Slow down, guys. You’re running too fast to keep up with the terms you’re using. Iraqi security forces — troops and police both — are getting better steadily. And the kerfuffle about “Level 1” vs. “Level 2” vs. “Level 3” — terms that the generals testifying last week used without adequately explaining them — are entirely misunderstood.
Please check out my interview yesterday with Lt. Gen. Dave Petraeus, who commanded the training operations in Iraq. Iraqi troops are fighting very well, in the lead in a great many operations and — in some really tough places — alone. Iraq is not a war we’ve won, at least yet. BUT we shouldn’t believe the Iraqis themselves aren’t fighting. They are fighting well, and — in increasing numbers — in the place of U.S. and other Coalition forces. Most importantly, they are respected and accepted by the population, which is a fundamental difference between Iraq and Vietnam.