QUESTIONS FOR GEN. PETRAEUS….Apparently Petraeus is counting “IED hoaxes” in the PowerPoint slide that shows a sharp decrease in IED attacks. That seems odd, doesn’t it? John Cole would like to see that chart replotted with just the actual IED attacks themselves. Me too.
Josh Marshall, meanwhile, notes that Petraeus told Congress that two intelligence agencies signed off on his methodology for calculating civilian death rates. That’s only two out of 18, which isn’t so hot, but he’d still like to know which ones they were. Me too.
For myself, I’ll just note the same thing I noted over the weekend: all the charts for civilian fatalities show basically the same trend: a big pre-surge drop between December and March, no progress from March through July, and then a modest drop in August. So Petraeus is hanging nearly his entire case on a single month.
BONUS POWERPOINT NOTE: Slide #12 shows the readiness of the Iraqi army. Level 1 means “fully independent.” Level 2 means “Iraqi lead with coalition support.”
So four years into this thing, how are we doing in getting Iraqi army units up to speed? Answer: at the beginning of the year we had 15 Level 1 units. Today we have 12. Level 2 units have gone from 78 to 83. Some progress.