Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
Yesterday I posted tough questions that a dozen national security experts would like to pose to General David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, when he testifies before Congress next week. And two retired generals have additional queries to add to the list. Here they are:
Retired General William Odom, former National Security Agency director:
-- What historical example is there for rebuilding a collapsed state from the bottom up except by civil war in which a single leader wins?
-- Why is Iraq not on the road to Balkanization? Fragmentation?
-- What historical example is there of the U.S. military building an army for a government whose leaders have neither the power to rule nor the capacity to bring warring factions under their control?
-- Do you propose to string out the surge although the Army simply does not have forces to continue?
-- Why did the Iraqi forces you trained a few years ago fail to emerge as an effective fighting force that survives and serves as the core of the Iraqi army today? If you succeeded, then why do we have this problem with standing up an effective Iraqi Army?