Is April the new September?

Gen. Petraeus is promising a "forthright assessment" of Iraq in the fall, but his top commander is pushing for next spring.

Published May 9, 2007 2:07PM (EDT)

Gen. David Petraeus has promised a "forthright assessment" of progress in Iraq come September, and more and more Republicans seem to be seeking political cover there. We're not giving the president a blank check, their argument goes. We're just giving him until September to see if this "surge" is actually going to work.

September? Did somebody say September?

" The surge needs to go through the beginning of next year for sure," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day commander for U.S. military operations in Iraq, tells the Washington Post.

The beginning of next year? Like, say, January?


"What I am trying to do is to get until April so we can decide whether to keep it going or not," Odierno says. "Are we making progress? If we're not making any progress, we need to change our strategy. If we're making progress, then we need to make a decision on whether we continue to surge."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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