Friedman (Iraq War time unit)/all examples 2003-2006

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One Friedman Unit, also known as "one Friedman" or "one F.U.", equals six months.[1]

See the main article for listing of examples by Thomas Friedman and/or listing of examples by member of Congress.

Also see all examples 2007.

All examples: 2003-2006

Name Occupation Quotation-in-context FUs Begin date End date
Donald Rumsfeld U.S. Secretary of Defense "It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

'TownHall Meeting' at Aviano Air Base, Italy"[2]

0.03, 0.2, <1.0 February 7, 2003 September 6, 2004
Pat Roberts U.S. Senator "I think the next few months will be crucial." [3][4] ~0.5 July 3, 2003 October 2003
John McCain U.S. Senator "We do not have time to spare. If we do not meaningfully improve security and services in Iraq over the next few months, it may be too late. We will risk an irreversible loss of Iraqi confidence and reinforce the efforts of extremists who seek our defeat and threaten Iraq's democratic future."[3] ~0.5 August 31, 2003 November - December 2003
John McCain U.S. Senator "The next three-to-six months will be critical."[3][4] 0.5-1.0 September 10, 2003 December 10, 2003 - March 10, 2004
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "The next six months in Iraq... are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time"[5] 1.0 November 30, 2003 May 30, 2004
Hillary Rodham Clinton U.S. Senator "The next six to seven months are critical."[4] 1.0 - 1.1 December 1, 2003 May-June, 2004
Tony Blair U.K. Prime Minister "The important thing is to realize we are about to enter into a very critical six months"[6] 1.0 January 5, 2004 July 5, 2004
Will Marshall President of the Progressive Policy Institute "America has about six months to break the resistance and give the new Iraqi government a fighting chance to survive."[3] 1.0 January 8, 2004 July 8, 2004
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "What I absolutely don't understand is just at the moment when we finally have a UN-approved Iraqi-caretaker government made up of – I know a lot of these guys – reasonably decent people and more than reasonably decent people, everyone wants to declare it's over. I don't get it. It might be over in a week, it might be over in a month, it might be over in six months, but what's the rush? Can we let this play out, please?"[5] 0.04, 0.17, 1.0 June 3, 2004 December 3, 2004
Gen. George Casey Commander of Coalition forces in Iraq "Casey 'Says Next Few Months Key to Iraq's Future.'" (Boston Globe Headline)[3] ~0.5 June 25, 2004 September - November 2004
Richard Lugar U.S. Senator "The next few months will be critical."[3][4] ~0.5 July 22, 2004 October-November 2004
Ralph Nader Independent presidential candidate "Ralph Nader says that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq ... six months from now."[7] 1.0 September 2004 March 2005
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "What we're gonna find out... in the next six to nine months is whether we have liberated a country or uncorked a civil war."[5] 1.0–1.5 October 3, 2004 April 3, 2005
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "Improv time is over. This is crunch time. Iraq will be won or lost in the next few months. But it won't be won with high rhetoric. It will be won on the ground in a war over the last mile."[5] ~0.5 November 28, 2004 February - March, 2005
John Kerry U.S. Senator "I will say unequivocally today that what the administration does in these next few days will decide the outcome of Iraq."[3][4] ~0.016 January 30, 2005 February 2-3, 2005
Jalal Talabani Iraqi President "I think within two years, we can do it, and at the same time, we will remain in full consultation and coordination, cooperation with our American friends."[8] 4.0 April 11, 2005 April 2007
Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Iraq "I think the next nine months are critical."[9] 1.5 June 29, 2005 March 2006
Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.) U.S. Army "I think the next 18 months are crucial."[3][4] 3.0 July 18, 2005 January 18, 2007
John Bolton U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. "The next months will be critical".[3] ~0.5-1.5 August 4, 2005 November 2005 - May 2006
Chuck Hagel U.S. Senator "The next six months will be "very critical" in Iraq, he said."[10] 1.0 August 18, 2005 February 18, 2006
Hoshiyar Zebari Iraqi Foreign Minister "But these times, these remaining months, are really the make or break of Iraq. These months are critical to the success for failure of this project of demonstration, of regime change, whether for the United States, its allies or for us."[3] ~0.5-1.5 August 25, 2005 November 2005 - May 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "I think we're in the end game now.... I think we're in a six-month window here where it's going to become very clear"[5] 1.0 September 25, 2005 March 25, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "… Maybe the cynical Europeans were right. Maybe this neighborhood is just beyond transformation. That will become clear in the next few months as we see just what kind of minority the Sunnis in Iraq intend to be. If they come around, a decent outcome in Iraq is still possible, and we should stay to help build it. If they won't, then we are wasting our time."[9][3] ~0.5 September 28, 2005 December 2005 - January 2006
Gen. George Casey Commander of Coalition forces in Iraq “The next 75 days are going to be critical for what happens.”[9][3] 0.416 September 29, 2005 December 13, 2005
Gen. David Petraeus U.S. Army "The developments over the next several months will be critical."[3][4] ~0.5 October 5, 2005 January-February 2006
Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Iraq "[W]e are on the right track to start significant reductions in the coming year.... I believe within 12 months, Iraq will be well on its way towards success, will have made significant progress from where we are today. "[11] 2.0 October 25, 2005 October 25, 2006
John Kerry U.S. Senator "We are entering a make-or-break six-month period."[3][4] 1.0 October 26, 2005 April 26, 2006
John Warner U.S. Senator "We've got, I think, six months."[3][4] 1.0 November 17, 2005 May 17, 2006
Joe Biden U.S. Senator "You only have about the next six months."[3][4] 1.0 November 21, 2005 May 21, 2006
Joe Biden U.S. Senator "I think we have a six-month window here to get it right."[12] 1.0 November 27, 2005 May 27, 2006
John Warner U.S. Senator "we've got to stay firm for the next six months. It is a critical period..."[12] 1.0 November 27, 2005 May 27, 2006
John Warner U.S. Senator "We should not at this time in these critical four to six months be worrying about a timetable to withdraw or even talking about it."[9] 0.66-1.0 November 30, 2005 March 30 - May 30, 2006
John McCain U.S. Senator "we will probably see significant progress in the next six months to a year"[13] 1.0–2.0 December 4, 2005 June 4, 2006 - December 4, 2006
George W. Bush President of the United States "The election, Mr. Bush said, would be followed by 'days of uncertainty" and perhaps weeks of vote counting that could lave the outcome unknown until next month. He made no claim that the vote on Thursday would allow the Untied States to start reducing its military presence. Instead, he alluded obliquely to a feeling among many foreign policy analysts and some administration officials that it could be six months before it was possible to say whether the Iraqis had established a workable government that could lead to a gradual American disengagement." (New York Times story)[3] 1.0 December 11, 2005 June 11, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "I think the next six months really are going to determine whether this country is going to collapse"[5] 1.0 December 18, 2005 June 18, 2006
Joe Biden U.S. Senator "Next six months are going to tell the story."[14] 1.0 December 18, 2005 June 18, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "We're at the beginning of, I think, the decisive, I would say, six months in Iraq."[15][16] 1.0 December 20, 2005 June 20, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "The only thing I am certain of is that in the wake of this election, Iraq will be what Iraqis make of it—and the next six months will tell us a lot. I remain guardedly hopeful."[16] 1.0 December 21, 2005 June 21, 2006
Andrew Krepinevich Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments analyst "We've had a lot of these statements of progress just around the corner...[but] 2006 is the crucial year.[3] ~1.0 December 27, 2005 c. January 2007
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "I think that we're going to know after six to nine months whether this project has any chance of succeeding"[5] 1.0–1.5 January 23, 2006 July 23, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "I think we're in the end game there, in the next three to six months, Bob. We've got for the first time an Iraqi government elected on the basis of an Iraqi constitution. Either they're going to produce the kind of inclusive consensual government that we aspire to in the near term, in which case America will stick with it, or they're not, in which case I think the bottom's going to fall out."[9] 0.5-1.0 January 31, 2006 May 1 - July 31, 2006
Kenneth M. Pollack Brookings Institution analyst "The U.S. needs a 'switch in time'--in the next six months...The United States must... approach 2006 and a make-or-break year in Iraq."[3] 1.0-2.0 February 15, 2006 August 15, 2006 - December 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "I think we are in the end game. The next six to nine months are going to tell whether we can produce a decent outcome in Iraq."[5] 1.0–1.5 March 2, 2006 September 2, 2006
Kenneth M. Pollack Brookings Institution analyst "Citing recent polling data and his recent experience in Iraq, Dr. Pollack believes Iraqis are in favor of reconstruction and against the prospects of civil war. Therefore, this gives the U.S. a critical six month window of opportunity to bring some form of stability to Iraq."[17] 1.0 March 2, 2006 September 2, 2006
Ashraf Qazi UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq "'Ashraf Qazi, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, told the Security Council in an open briefing this morning that the next six months in Iraq are going to be critical.'"[9] 1.0 March 15, 2006 September 15, 2006
Tom Vilsack Governor of Iowa (D) "The next six months... in my view are the most critical in the whole process." 1.0 April 19, 2006 October 19, 2006
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "Can Iraqis get this government together? If they do, I think the American public will continue to want to support the effort there to try to produce a decent, stable Iraq. But if they don't, then I think the bottom is going to fall out of public support here for the whole Iraq endeavor. So one way or another, I think we're in the end game in the sense it's going to be decided in the next weeks or months whether there's an Iraq there worth investing in. And that is something only Iraqis can tell us."[16][3] ~0.1-1.5 April 23, 2006 May 2006 - January 2007
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "we're going to find out... in the next year to six months - probably sooner - whether a decent outcome is possible"[5][9] 1.0-2.0 May 11, 2006 November 11, 2006 - May 11, 2007
George Friedman Statfor analyst “The violence in Iraq will surge, but by July 4 there either will be clear signs that the Sunnis are controlling the insurgency – or there won't. If they are controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. If they are not controlling the insurgency, the United States will begin withdrawing troops in earnest. Regardless of whether the deal holds, the U.S. war in Iraq is going to end: U.S. troops either will not be needed, or will not be useful. Thus, we are at a break point – at least for the Americans.”[9] 0.23 May 23, 2006 July 4, 2006
Army counterinsurgency specialist U.S. Army "I know it's the cliche of the war. But we'll know in the next six months-and this time, it'll be the last six months we get."[3] 1.0 June 1, 2006 December 1, 2006
Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Iraq "The next six months will be critical in terms of reining in the danger of civil war. If the government fails to achieve this, it will have lost its opportunity"[18] 1.0 June 7, 2006 December 7, 2006
Evan Bayh U.S. Senator "Based on those discussions, [Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)] said he believes the next six months 'are going to be critically important to future developments in Iraq' -- particularly the relations between the turbulent nation's majority Shiites, Kurds and minority Sunni Arabs who were allied with Saddam Hussein's toppled government."[3] 1.0 June 11, 2006 December 25, 2006
Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell U.S. Army "We have a window (or opportunity) of five months - maybe seven at the most to effect change."[3] 0.83-1.16 June 13, 2006 November 13, 2006 - January 13, 2007
Mark Udall U.S. Representative “The next six months are likely to be critical in determining whether the situation in Iraq turns worse or whether we may yet salvage a measure of political stability that addresses our long-term security interests in the region.“[9] 1.0 June 22, 2006 December 22, 2006
Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Iraq "The next five to six months are critical for this government."[3] 0.83-1.0 June 26, 2006 November 26 - December 26, 2006
Joe Lieberman U.S. Senator "by the end of this year [six months], we will begin to draw down significant numbers of American troops"[19] 1.0 July 7, 2006 December 31, 2006
Joe Biden U.S. Senator "one year from now, if there is not significant progress... 'there's going to be really no prospect... of keeping any large number of American forces here.'"[19] 2.0 July 7, 2006 July 7, 2007
General George Casey U.S. Army "I don't have a date, but I can see over the next 12 to 18 months, the Iraqi security forces progressing to a point where they can take on the security responsibilities for the country, with very little coalition support."[20] 2.0 - 3.0 August 29, 2006 February 29, 2008
Lee Hamilton ISG Co-Chair "The next three months are critical."[21] 0.5 September 20, 2006 December 20, 2006
Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador "He has a window of a couple months...If the perception is that this unity government is not able to deal with this issue, then a big opportunity would have been lost"[22] 0.33 September 30, 2006 November 30, 2006
General George Casey U.S. Army "said that the next six months will be a decisive period that will determine Iraq's future"[23] 1.0 October 5, 2006 April 5, 2007
John Warner U.S. Senator "In two or three months if this thing hasn't come to fruition and this level of violence is not under control, I think it's a responsibility of our government to determine: Is there a change of course we should take?"[3] 0.33-0.5 October 6, 2006 December 6, 2006 - January 6, 2007
Tony Blair U.K. Prime Minister "Blair gives Iraq 12 months to be ready for handover"[24] 2.0 October 23, 2006 October 23, 2007
Nouri al-Maliki Iraqi Prime Minister "They think building Iraqi forces will need 12 to 18 months for us to be in control of security. ... if, as we are asking, the rebuilding of our forces was in our own hands, then it would take not 12-18 months but six might be enough"[25] 1.0-3.0 October 26, 2006 April 26, 2007 or October 26, 2007 or April 26, 2007
John McCain U.S. Senator "We're either going to lose this thing or win this thing in the next several months."[3] ~0.5 November 1, 2006 c. February 2007
Carl Levin U.S. Senator "U.S. troops should begin coming home from Iraq in the next four to six months"[26] 0.66-1.0 November 13, 2006 May 13, 2007
John McCain U.S. Senator "Mr. McCain said that the fate of the Iraqi venture would be decided in the next six months or so"[27] 1.0 November 13, 2006 May 13, 2007
General John Abizaid CENTCOM Commander "[A Senator] asked General Abizaid how much time the United States had to bring down the violence in Baghdad... the answer was four to six months"[28] 0.66-1.0 November 15, 2006 May 15, 2007
Barack Obama U.S. Senator "called for a 'gradual and substantial' reduction of U.S. forces... in four to six months"[29] 0.66-1.0 November 20, 2006 May 20, 2007
John Cornyn U.S. Senator "I think General Abizaid had it about right. He said he thinks we have about another four to six months to get this right. And I think that's where we're looking at."[3] 0.66-1.0 November 26, 2006 March 26 - May 26, 2007
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "Ten Months or Ten Years."[30] 1.67 or 20 (= 1 NFU) November 29, 2006 September 29, 2007 or November 29, 2016
Nouri al-Maliki Iraqi Prime Minister "I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready [to assume security command] by June 2007 [six months]"[31] 1.0 November 30, 2006 June 1, 2007
Thomas Friedman opinion columnist "our real choices in Iraq are 10 months or 10 years"[32] 1.67 or 20 (= 1 NFU) December 8, 2006 October 8, 2007 or December 8, 2016
John Thune U.S. Senator "We're spinning our wheels, and we've got to turn the corner on this thing, and we've got to do it, I would say, in the next six months."[33][34] 1.0 December 17, 2006 June 17, 2007
Michael E. O'Hanlon Brookings Institution analyst "...It seems very likely that 2007 will be make or break time in Iraq."[3] ~2.0 December 20, 2006 December 2007


  1. "Login required", Editor & Publisher. 
  2. Tom Regan, "Next six months critical to US's effort in Iraq... again?" Christian Science Monitor, March 1, 2007.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 "Iraq Timeline: The Broken Record on 'the Next Few Months'," Center for American Progress, August 8, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Dana Milbank, "The Time Is (Perpetually) Now," Washington Post, November 30, 2005.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Tom Friedman's Flexible Deadlines. FAIR (5/16/06). Retrieved on 2007-03-18.
  6. "Straw: UK troops in Iraq for years," Associated Press (CNN), February 5, 2004.
  7. "Nader: Calling for a withdrawal from Iraq – but not yet!" The Spark, September 27, 2004.
  8. "Talabani predicts U.S. exit in two years. Pakistan appeals for envoy's release," CNN, April 10, 2005.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 Fabius Maximus, "A Sampler of Quotes by the Good and the Great about the Iraq War," Defense and the National Interest, November 12, 2006.
  10. "Hagel: Iraq growing more like Vietnam. Republican Senator says Bush should meet with protesting mom," CNN, August 19, 2005.
  11. Newsmaker: "Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, assesses the official results of the recent Iraq Constitution vote," PBS Online NewsHour, October 25, 2005.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Transcript for November 27. Meet the Press, MSNBC, November 27, 2005: Guests: John Warner, Joe Biden, David Broder, David Gregory, Eugene Robinson & Judy Woodruff.
  13. Transcript for December 4. Meet the Press, MSNBC, December 4, 2005. Guests: John McCain, Thomas Kean & Lee Hamilton.
  14. Partial transcript of CBS's FACE THE NATION from December 18, 2005.
  15. Friedman Units (FU) of Iraq, The Agonist.]
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Tom Friedman's Flexible Deadlines," Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, May 16, 2006.
  17. Kenneth M. Pollack, "Next Steps for U.S. Policy in Iraq," Center for Peace and Security Studies, Georgetown University, March 2, 2006.
  18. Interview with US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad: "The Next Six Months Will Be Critical," Spiegel Online, June 7, 2006.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Lieberman, Lamont Spar in Conn. Primary Debate," CQ Transcriptions (Washington Post), July 7, 2006.
  20. "Top U.S. general: Iraqis can take over security within 18 months," Associated Press (USA TODAY), August 30, 2006.
  21. Edward Epstein, "Time running out for Iraqis, study group leaders warn," San Francisco Chronicle, September 20, 2006.
  22. Amit R. Paley and Sudarsan Raghavan, "Time running out for Iraq's prime minister. U.S. ambassador warns that sectarian bloodshed must be contained," Washington Post (MSNBC), September 30, 2006.
  23. Agence France Presse article archived by Atrios.
  24. Patrick Wintour and Michael Howard, "Blair gives Iraq 12 months to be ready for handover," The Guardian (UK), October 23, 2006.
  25. "Q&A excerpts from interview with Iraqi PM," Reuters AlterNet, October 26, 2006.
  26. Martin Sieff, "Benchmarks: A necessary service -- Part 1," UPI, July 30, 2007.
  27. John M. Broder, "POLITICAL MEMO; In Call for More Troops, McCain Places His Bet on Iraq," New York Times, November 14, 2006. Subscription required.
  28. Michael R. Gordon and Mark Mazzetti, "Top General Warns Against Iraq Timetable," New York Times, November 15, 2006.
  29. On the Issues: Obama, from an Associated Press article; published in People's Daily (China), November 23, 2006.
  30. Thomas L. Friedman, "Ten Months or Ten Years," New York Times, November 29, 2006.
  31. Reuters (November 30, 2006). "Maliki: Iraqis could assume security by June 2007", Retrieved on 2007-03-18. 
  32. "Login required", Editor & Publisher. 
  33. Chad, "Six Months," Clean Cut Kid, December 19, 2006.
  34. Gale, Dennis (December 17, 2007). "SD. senator thinks Iraq policy will change", Bismark Tribune. Retrieved on 2007-06-18. 

Acknowledgment: This article was originally adapted from the Wikipedia article "Friedman (unit)" under the GNU Free Document License"