"Forty-five days from now, September 1 ... I'll be able to make a bit more accurate assessment if it's something we think is going to continue or something we think is just a blip," he said in a video link from Baghdad.
"In order to do a good assessment, I need at least till November to do that," Odierno added.
Oh and about those benchmarks....
In a separate session, [U.S. Ambassador Ryan] Crocker told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that political benchmarks set by President Bush for the Iraqi government were not necessarily the best way to measure progress.
You might remember those were the non-binding benchmarks the Republicans insisted should replace timelines, lest the terrorists win.