All Things Considered covered Rumsefeld's disclosure in the Senate that a draw-down of US troops in Iraq would be unlikely in 2006. For analysis NPR turned to Michael E. O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution. O'Hanlon said that "Iraqi security forces are getting better." Are they? I have yet to read any factual evidence to support this; on the contrary, it seems the Iraqi security forces are rife with torture/death squad participants with sectarian/militia allegiances. One might also assume that some of the torture/death squad activity is in fact a result of US promotion of the "Salvador Option"[see earlier post here]. He states that there are 50-60,000 "fairly capable" Iraqi troops. Again, where did this number come from? NPR and O'Hanlon apparently think that saying something is true makes it true--regardless of what reality shows to the contrary.
It really bugs me that the best NPR can find is a "military analyst" who writes for the Washington Times and appears on the O'Reilly Show to deride French student protesters and Hugo Chavez with O'Reilly's approval. O'Hanlon has no expertise on Iraqi culture or history and doesn't apparently know Arabic. God forbid that NPR turn to someone such as Robert Fisk or Juan Cole, instead of turning to the old status quo hacks at the Brookings Institution.