Hume and Gen. Robert Scales (Ret.), Fox News Military Analyst, discuss recent, generally positive reports from American General David Petraeus and other military commanders on Iraqi troop readiness. But did the segment end the way Hume had expected?
SCALES: And so between, let’s just say the election and say midsummer, you’re going to see the Americans begin to pull back, push the Iraqis forward. Let them fight on their own, give them the things we give them best: logistics, fire support, intelligence at the strategic and operational level, and let them do them do the close.
HUME: And one assumes air cover at times.
SCALES: Well, that’s what I meant by firepower: artillery, mortars, and air power. Yes, because that’s what we will be providing them for a long time. The key is it’s gone from a training effort to an advisory effort. And that’s a huge difference.
SCALES: I think it is realistic. And I think fall is the time that we’ll have to start looking for results. Because remember, the clock is ticking. And the negative side is, of course, that we have an Army and Marine Corps that’s stretched thin to perform now two missions. And we do it through a rotation.
HUME: Fighting and training.
SCALES: Fighting and training, and this is sort of trying to carry on a dual mission, which is going to be very difficult. The equipment is beginning to wear out....
So — and frankly, soldier will be heading into their third rotation beginning next fall, the next winter. So the clock is ticking. We’re going to have to start handing this over and let the Iraqis bear the burden, before our Army and Marine Corps begin to crack.
HUME: General Scales, it’s always a pleasure to have you. Bob, thanks very much.