SPINNING THE WAR….The Pentagon said today that Iraq’s security forces are still incapable of keeping order and need to be expanded yet again, this time by 20,000 soldiers:

Even then, Iraq will remain incapable of taking full responsibility for its security for many years — five years in the case of protecting its airspace — and will require a long-term military relationship with the United States, said Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who until recently led the U.S. military’s training effort in Iraq.

….The remarks follow other blunt comments by U.S. military commanders that civilian deaths and attacks on U.S. troops have recently risen and that particularly tough fighting is expected in the coming months….Describing the U.S. effort in Iraq as a labor of Sisyphus, [Dempsey] said the metaphoric stone is “probably rolling back a bit right now in Baghdad. But I don’t think it’s going to roll over us.”

Man, they are really working overtime to lower expectations before September rolls around. The last couple of weeks have been dedicated to nonstop declarations that we should expect (a) an increase in violence this summer, (b) no political progress to speak of, and (c) an even more disfunctional and sectarian Iraqi security apparatus than we have now. By the time Petraeus’s progress report arrives, they’ll be telling us we should count the surge a success as long as things are no more than 20% worse than when it started.

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