Iraq Forces: A Recurring Theme, a Recurring Reality

President Bush initially called last month's Iraqi military offensive in Basra "a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq," but many analysts say the operation exposed the shortcomings of Iraq's security forces. Now, as Gen. David H. Petreaus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker appear before Congress, the capabilities of Iraqi forces are sure to be a key theme. But as previous testimony from top U.S. commanders and civilian officials shows, predictions of success have rarely been matched by the subsequent reality.

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