It’s really shameful that not a single senator has asked Ray Odierno what his strategy will be for post-surge Iraq. Odierno just told Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) that he thinks Iraq is on a "path" to success, largely because of the surge. OK, fine. But what to do now that there aren’t going to be any more surge brigades in Iraq, and how to do it? Is a population-protection strategy predicated on 160,000 troops possible with, say 120,000? 100,000? No idea. No one’s asking.
Instead, Odierno dishes out Petraeus-era buzzwords. Three cheers for Maliki’s "even handedness." Al Qaeda in Iraq failed because people saw the evil future it had in store. The "enemies of Iraq will "do as much as they can" to reconstitute themselves. There’s still a ways to go, "make no mistake." That’s why we want to "build up the government forces and the capacity" for the Iraqis to succeed. It’s like he’s been reading Petraeus’s clippings and assembling cue cards.