The Boys at the Pentagon Can’t Count

From Holden:

We have no idea how many members of the Iraqi security forces have been trained, according to the GAO.

A US government watchdog agency says Pentagon data on Iraqi security forces was “unreliable” and also showed there was an escalating insurgency.


The Pentagon had told Congress on Monday that there are 142,472 trained and equipped Iraqi security forces.

“Data on the status of Iraqi security forces is unreliable and provides limited information on their capabilities,” Joseph Christoff, of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), told a House of Representatives Government Reform sub-committee.

Mr Christoff also said Pentagon intelligence data showed an escalating insurgency, as “each monthly peak in the number of violent incidents is followed by a higher average number of attacks in subsequent months”.


The US administration has spent about $US5.8 billion to develop Iraq’s security forces.

President George W Bush is seeking another $US5.7 billion in an $US81.9 billion emergency spending bill that Congress is considering for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Without reliable information, Congress may find it difficult to judge how federal funds are achieving a goal of transferring security responsibilities to the Iraqis,” Mr Christoff told the panel.


“This is like fantasy land. This is as fictive as the weapons of mass destruction,” Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat [sic] Congressman, told Rear Admiral [William] Sullivan of the Pentagon’s figures.

“I’m embarrassed for you that you would come to a congressional committee with this kind of a phony report.”

Rear Admiral Sullivan said the latest numbers were verified by General David Petraeus, who is in charge of developing Iraqi forces, and General George Casey, commander of US forces in Iraq, although he said they admit there are gaps in knowing how many are on duty on a given day.

The GAO report also said that members of the Interior Ministry’s security forces “committed numerous, serious human rights abuses” including the killing of 10 members of the Baath Party and the killing of a mother and daughter accused of prostitution.