Much of the talk at Congress over the past couple of days has been about numbers and, I must contend, vague expression about this or that strategy. Some argue that al-Maliki has to do honest business with Sunni Arabs and that Saudi Arabia must keep speaking to Iran and vice versa, another Sunni/Shiite issue (to generalize).
But what I take from the Petraeus transcript is a disarticulation of relationship between the “administration” and life on the ground, both for the soldiers and Iraqis. Troop reduction means what to them? How can normality be defined and by whom?