Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Complex.  It’s a word you might hear a lot nowadays when talking to a member of the reality based community.  More often than not, you will probably hear it within a few seconds of the phrase “Iraq war,” or “Iraq conflict,” probably because complex is exactly the right word to describe whatever the hell it is we’re doing over there.

As though to highlight the significance of the complexity in Iraq, we learn today that next month as we are treated to progress reports on both military and political progress in the country we invaded, the Pentagon will not, I repeat not, provide a unified plan of action in regards to the surge.

The Pentagon will instead have presentations:

Morrell said the commanders will make their presentations to Bush at around the same time that Petraeus appears before Congress to assess progress in Iraq in mid September.

Morrell said that those making presentations to the president would include Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Fallon, the commander of U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military actions in the Middle East, Army Gen. George Casey, the chief of staff of the Army, and Petraeus. In addition, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will share his opinion with the president.

Pentagon commanders are known to be divided over how to proceed in Iraq.

Pentagon officials have told McClatchy Newspapers that Casey, who was the top commander in Iraq, wants the U.S. to draw down forces and focus on training the Iraqi forces, as it did during his tenure in Iraq, and worries about the strain the war is having on the Army.

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pace would recommend reducing the number of troops in Baghdad because the deployments are straining the military.

Petraeus, however, is expected to argue that the number of U.S. troops should be kept at their current levels, saying that the increase in U.S. forces this year is beginning to reduce sectarian violence.

Gates’ position is not known, but he was a member of the Iraq Study Group, which advocated a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The surge, which sent an additional 28,000 troops to Iraq between February and June, was crafted as the secretary took over the department in December, and it is not considered his plan.

This coming on the heels of a recently released pre White House scrubbed report that claims that things in Iraq are not quite as happy-go-lucky as Bush and the administration would have us believe.

Hmm… a complex situation, things not going so bad, multiple presentations as to what we should do in Iraq.  I wonder which one Bush is going to choose… (/sarcasm)

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