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This Week's Big Lie

During the debate on Thursday evening, Bush said of the Iraqi national forces:

"We've got 100,000 trained now, 125,000 by the end of this year, 200,000 by the end of next year."
However, according to Pentagon documents accessed by Reuters, the facts are entirely different.
"The documents show that of the nearly 90,000 currently in the police force, only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training. Another 46,176 are listed as "untrained," and it will be July 2006 before the administration reaches its new goal of a 135,000-strong, fully trained police force.

Six Army battalions have had "initial training," while 57 National Guard battalions, 896 soldiers in each, are still being recruited or "awaiting equipment." Just eight Guard battalions have reached "initial (operating) capability," and the Pentagon acknowledged the Guard's performance has been "uneven."

Training has yet to begin for the 4,800-man civil intervention force, which will help counter a deadly insurgency. And none of the 18,000 border enforcement guards have received any centralized training to date, despite earlier claims they had, according to Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

They estimated that 22,700 Iraqi personnel have received enough basic training to make them "minimally effective at their tasks," in contrast to the 100,000 figure cited by Bush. "

So, we already knew the Imperial Commander wasn't all that bright, but surely even he can tell the difference between 100,000 and 23,000!

October 3, 2004 in Bush Administration, Campaign 2004, Iraq | Permalink

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