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.

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in Politics

Just In