Wednesday, September 8, 2004

1,000

From the New York Times:

As American military deaths in Iraq operations surpassed the 1,000 mark, top Pentagon officials said Tuesday that insurgents controlled important parts of central Iraq and that it was unclear when American and Iraqi forces would be able to secure those areas.

As of late Tuesday night, the Pentagon’s accounting showed that 998 service members and three Defense Department civilians had been killed in Iraq operations.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference that the American strategy in retaking rebel-held strongholds hinged on training and equipping Iraqi forces to take the lead.

Mr. Rumsfeld said Iraqi officials understood they must regain control of the insurgent safe havens. “They get it, and will find a way over time to deal with it,” he said.

But General Myers said the Iraqi forces would probably not be ready to confront insurgents in those areas until the end of this year.

How do you ask 1,000 soldiers to die for a mistake?