Thursday, August 30, 2007

3 out of 18

That’s about 16% - a failure by any standards. It represents the number of benchmarks the Iraqi government has met since the so-called surge was initiated. Needless to say, the goal was that all eighteen benchmarks would be met by September 15, which is when the report is due. That report however, has now been preemptively leaked to The Washington Post by a government official who was concerned that the conclusions found in the report were so negative that the White House would tamper with the final version. That is what allegedly happened with security assessments in this month's National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

Karen DeYoung and Thomas Ricks of the Post quote the report as saying that "While the Baghdad security plan was intended to reduce sectarian violence, U.S. agencies differ on whether such violence has been reduced," it states. While there have been fewer attacks against U.S. forces, it notes, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians remains unchanged. It also finds that "the capabilities of Iraqi security forces have not improved."

The Report contrasts strongly with almost every positive statement made by the White House with regards to progress in Iraq and contradicts upbeat statements made by the White House and Military spokespersons about the readiness of the newly trained Iraqi troops. In short, The Surge, is a flop.

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