On January 23, 2007, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said on CNN that he supported benchmarks for Iraqis and a timeline of “60 to 90 days” for the escalation to work:
KOPPEL: How long can you and your membership give the president and give the Iraqi military, before you say, you know what, you’re not doing your job?
BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that’s why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don’t look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that — that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we — as we’re — we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.
Fifty-nine days later, the escalation isn’t working. A senior Bush administration official acknowledged recently to the Washington Post that “right now there is no trend” showing the escalation is working. While sectarian attacks in Baghdad are down, “deaths of Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops have increased outside the capital”:
If violence is down in Baghdad, analysts said, it is likely because the Shiite militias operating there are waiting out the buildup in U.S. troops, nearly all of whom are being deployed in the capital. At the same time, Sunni insurgents have escalated their operations elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Boehner is leading opposition to the House Iraq plan (which imposes strict benchmarks on the Iraqi government) claiming it will lead to “micromanag[ing] the war on terror, undermining our generals on the ground and slowly choking off resources for our troops.”
How many more periods of “60 to 90 days” before Boehner admits the Iraq strategy is failing?