I am optomistic.....

Often one sees personal tendencies that remain consistent over time. Petraeus is no exception. Those of us who watch the wires on a regular basis sometimes get a feel for one’s personality by watching their comments over the length of their careers.

Before I go on, I must say I have great faith in the former commander of the 101st Airborne division. I am inclined to believe what he says.

Even so if I were to sit in the chair and allowed to question his interpretation of events, I would ask if he still believed the conclusions he drew up in his September report………the one he wrote 3 years ago?

My guess it was this article that moved him up the short list when it was time to pick a new commander last winter. Anyway, three years ago, Petreaus gives a rosy account of traction being gained in Iraq.

Questions for Petreaus:

In 2004, you said this in the Washington Post: “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously in the face of an enemy that has shown a willingness to do anything to disrupt the establishment of the new Iraq.” Do you still hold this to be true?

In 2004 you said this: “there are reasons for optimism. Today approximately 164,000 Iraqi police and soldiers (of which about 100,000 are trained and equipped) and an additional 74,000 facility protection forces are performing a wide variety of security missions.” Where do we stand three years later on the number of soldiers trained and equipped?”

Follow up question? Out of all those we trained, how many are still participating in the capacity we need them to?

In your 2004 post you said this: “Reducing the flow of extremists and their resources across the borders is critical to success in the counterinsurgency.” In your esteemed view, after the billions spent, have we succeeded in closing off the borders?

My time is about to expire….will the chair allow me one more question? It will?….Briefly because I am out of time. In your September report of three years ago. you were optimistic. “There will be more tough times, frustration and disappointment along the way. It is likely that insurgent attacks will escalate as Iraq’s elections approach. Iraq’s security forces are, however, developing steadily and they are in the fight. Momentum has gathered in recent months”

Did we accomplish your goals at that time and then move on to bigger and better things, or……are we still in the same spot, doing the same things we were 3 years ago?