Stagnation

iraqiforcesslide.png

Here's another one of the slides from the Crocker/Petraeus presentation. At first glance, it appears to show impressive progress starting in March 2007. Look more closely at the bars, though, and you'll see that the top segment of each bar is an essentially meaningless category -- "unit forming." The real meat is in those tiny green bars representing Iraqi units capable of operating independently of US forces. Here, we saw considerable progress between March 2006 and November 2006, followed by a steady decline running through June 2007, and now things have ticked up again a bit so that we're essentially back to where we were a year ago.

Not only is there no progress here, but the absolute numbers in question are tiny so even if things were to pick up, we'd still be years and years and years away from this policy succeeding.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In