Thanks to Paul at Powerline for pointing this out: (1) the GAO analysis is tied to benchmarks set by a Democratic
Congress and (2) these benchmarks are not terribly germane to judging our
progress in this war.
Consider what Congress did not include. There's no
benchmark relating to driving al Qaeda out of Anbar province or for enlisting
Sunni tribesmen in the fight against al Qaeda. There's no benchmark relating to
killing foreign terrorists or stopping them from entering Iraq. There's no
benchmark for curbing Moqtada al-Sadr's militia or limiting his influence. Yet
al Qaeda, foreign terrorists generally, and Sadr represent (along with Iran) our
main enemies in Iraq. Only the Democrats could "benchmark" a war effort without
reference to how we're doing against our enemies.
This comes from a mindset that there is no military solution to this war. Tell that to General Grant and General Washington in our country's fight for freedom. Military success will inevitably bring political success. This latest doom and gloom report by pencil pushers in Washington is just another setback we have to ride out, as we have so many throughout this war.
A relevent quote comes from Brian at the Weekly Standard-"we can't hold the bums in Baghdad to a higher standard than the bums in Washington."
More-Bill Krostol calls the report, and the Washington Post's knee-jerk reaction to it, A Pathetic Preemptive Strike.
(1) the GAO analysis is tied to benchmarks set by a Democratic