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View Full Version : WH official: Iraq not meeting ANY of it's targets


memyselfI
07-09-2007, 06:19 PM
File it in the 'no shit, Sherlock' file...

Going to be fun watching the WH spin it, deny they even set benchmarks, and change the subject.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070709/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_iraq

WASHINGTON - A progress report on Iraq will conclude that the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad has not met any of its targets for political, economic and other reform, speeding up the Bush administration's reckoning on what to do next, a U.S. official said Monday.

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One likely result of the report will be a vastly accelerated debate among President Bush's top aides on withdrawing troops and scaling back the U.S. presence in Iraq.

The "pivot point" for addressing the matter will no longer be Sept. 15, as initially envisioned, when a full report on Bush's so-called "surge" plan is due, but instead will come this week when the interim mid-July assessment is released, the official said.

"The facts are not in question," the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the draft is still under discussion. "The real question is how the White House proceeds with a post-surge strategy in light of the report."

The report, required by law, is expected to be delivered to Capitol Hill by Thursday or Friday, as the Senate takes up a $649 billion defense policy bill and votes on a Democratic amendment ordering troop withdrawals to begin in 120 days.

Also being drafted are several Republican-backed proposals that would force a new course in Iraq, including one by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., that would require U.S. troops to abandon combat missions. Collins and Nelson say their binding amendment would order the U.S. mission to focus on training the Iraqi security forces, targeting al-Qaida members and protecting Iraq's borders.

"My goal is to redefine the mission and set the stage for a significant but gradual drawdown of our troops next year," said Collins.

GOP support for the war has eroded steadily since Bush's decision in January to send some 30,000 additional troops to Iraq. At the time, Bush said the Iraqis agreed to meet certain benchmarks, such as enacting a law to divide the nation's oil reserves.

This spring, Congress agreed to continue funding the war through September but demanded that Bush certify on July 15 and again on Sept. 15 that the Iraqis were living up to their political promises or forgo U.S. aid dollars.

The official said it is highly unlikely that Bush will withhold or suspend aid to the Iraqis based on the report.

A draft version of the administration's progress report circulated among various government agencies in Washington on Monday.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on Monday tried to lower expectations on the report, contending that all of the additional troops had just gotten in place and it would be unrealistic to expect major progress by now.

"You are not going to expect all the benchmarks to be met at the beginning of something," Snow said. "I'm not sure everyone's going to get an `A' on the first report."

In recent weeks, the White House has tried to shore up eroding GOP support for the war.

Collins and five other GOP senators — Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Robert Bennett of Utah, John Sununu of New Hampshire and Pete Domenici of New Mexico — support separate legislation calling on Bush to adopt as U.S. policy recommendations by the Iraq Study Group, which identified a potential redeployment date of spring 2008.

Other prominent Republican senators, including Richard Lugar of Indiana, George Voinovich of Ohio, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine, also say the U.S. should begin redeployments.

Several GOP stalwarts, including Sens. Ted Stevens of Alaska, Christopher Bond of Missouri, Jon Kyl of Arizona and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said they still support Bush's Iraq strategy.

Kyl said he would try to focus this week's debate on preserving vital anti-terrorism programs, including the detention of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The defense bill is on track to expand the legal rights of those held at the military prison, and many Democrats want to propose legislation that would shut the facility.

"If Democrats use the defense authorization bill to pander to the far left at the expense of our national security, they should expect serious opposition from Republicans," Kyl said.

As the Senate debate began, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee arranged to run television commercials in four states, beginning Tuesday, to pressure Republicans on the war.

The ads are to run in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota and New Hampshire, according to knowledgeable officials, but the DSCC so far has committed to spending a relatively small amount of money, less than $100,000 in all. Barring a change in plans that means the ads would not be seen widely in any of the four states.

The targets include Sens. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Collins of Maine, Sununu of New Hampshire and the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. All face re-election next year.

The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, with the overall tally for Iraq alone nearing a half-trillion dollars, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which provides research and analysis to lawmakers.

The figures call into question the Pentagon's estimate that the increase in troop strength and intensifying pace of operations in Baghdad and Anbar province would cost $5.6 billion through the end of September.

Ugly Duck
07-09-2007, 06:31 PM
File it in the 'no shit, Sherlock' file...

Sorry, folks.... Iraqis are just not going to "stand up." If they had any inclination at all to do so, they'd have done it long, long ago. Our boyz get picked off one by one as we wait for Iraqis to stand up, but they just ain't a'gonna do it. Fugem.

go bowe
07-09-2007, 07:51 PM
in some areas, iraqi forces, working with american troops, have performed well...

but, overall, there's "probably... no doubt about it"... /cheney

building an army from scratch takes time, and a number of provinces have been handed over to iraqi control...

so maby they are trying to stand up...

but in some areas it's going to be a lot harder to do and take a lot longer..

by the way, the thousands of iraqi security forces who have given their lives were standing up...

dirk digler
07-09-2007, 08:10 PM
This is depressing. While we have US troops going on their on their 5th tour we can't even get Iraqi troops to show up and report for duty in their own damn country.

Logical
07-09-2007, 08:58 PM
More positive news about Iraq.:rolleyes:

I suspect it will get worse.

recxjake
07-09-2007, 09:51 PM
Speaking 100% politics...... I bet by September Bush announces a draw down in American troops and that we will only leave a small contingent of troops in the country.

WoodDraw
07-09-2007, 09:53 PM
A question we'll have to address when the draw down does begin: was anything gained by keeping our troops there for as long as we did?

Ugly Duck
07-09-2007, 11:32 PM
This is depressing. While we have US troops going on their on their 5th tour we can't even get Iraqi troops to show up and report for duty in their own damn country.

I think you missed it.... Go Bo sez the Iraqi troops are doing a fine job...

BucEyedPea
07-10-2007, 05:53 AM
Speaking 100% politics...... I bet by September Bush announces a draw down in American troops and that we will only leave a small contingent of troops in the country.
Aha! But our delusional WH's advisors, like Bill Kristol has put the nc bash & smear machine in motion against the defecting Pubs even on that. They may not be sincere as much as it's a campaign move....since a war message is not going to sell. ( Maybe Ron Paul is having some effect afterall.)

dirk digler
07-11-2007, 07:26 PM
It appears the original news story about the report was premature



http://abcnews.go.com/WN/story?id=3368117&page=1

An eagerly awaited White House report on Iraq will be released tomorrow, which will claim that the Iraqi government has made satisfactory progress on eight of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress.

This is the first assessment of the Iraqi government's success rate since President Bush ordered the troop surge last January. White House officials tell ABC News' Jonathan Karl the report will cite encouraging signs that should eventually lead to a reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq.

The report notes that progress is "satisfactory" on eight of the benchmark criteria, the criteria that deals mostly with the Iraqi security forces.

In one case of a "satisfactory" benchmark, the Iraqi army sent three brigades to help secure Baghdad, as promised.

But a senior White House official told ABC News the report would also show disappointments, as progress on eight other benchmarks is described as "not satisfactory" — that includes most of the benchmarks on political reconciliation.

Progress on the remaining two benchmarks is labeled "mixed."

Overall, the report points to an eventual draw down of U.S. troops and claims "some encouraging signs that, over time, should point to a more normal and sustainable level of U.S. engagement in Iraq."

New Strategy 'Succeeding'

In advance of the expected White House report, Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham — who both recently returned from Iraq — gave their own assessment in a briefing with Bush today.

"We adopted a new strategy, and this strategy is succeeding and should be given a chance to succeed," McCain said.

But ABC News has also learned of a recent military intelligence assessment that offers a more mixed picture.

This report notes a decline in attacks on civilians and a near miraculous turnaround in Anbar Province, which, just last year, was considered the most dangerous in Iraq.

At the same time, the intelligence assessment said attacks on U.S. forces are way up, with the overall number of violent incidents in June reaching a record high in Iraq with an average of 178 attacks a day — the overwhelming majority against U.S. forces.

Still, the surge of additional forces in Iraq has only been fully in place for about three weeks, and military officials indicate it's simply too early to say whether it is working .

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, said again today that fighting a counterinsurgency war takes time — and in his assessment, that is about 10 years.

SCChief
07-12-2007, 05:36 PM
Hmmm... the latest articles I have seen agree with the one directly above (that they met 8 of 18). Still not what I would call passing the test, but a hell of a lot different than none.

Cochise
07-12-2007, 10:13 PM
8 of 18 with two mixed kind of puts the war in a nutshell. A mediocre success so far, not without hope, but not without a lot of room for improvement either.

Still, if what I heard on the radio a few weeks back is true then the 'surge' troops are not all there yet or have only been there shortly.

Hopefully we can show some additional progress next time around.

go bowe
07-12-2007, 10:36 PM
8 of 18 with two mixed kind of puts the war in a nutshell. A mediocre success so far, not without hope, but not without a lot of room for improvement either.

Still, if what I heard on the radio a few weeks back is true then the 'surge' troops are not all there yet or have only been there shortly.

Hopefully we can show some additional progress next time around.seems like i read somewhere that the last of the surge troops have been on the ground around three weeks...

while Baghdad shows some signs of life the real story is anbar, where the local commander joined forces with the shieks and other tribal leaders and have pretty much pushed aq out of the province...

they should try to duplicate anbar in other tribal areas...

and hope that the surge in baghdad makes a difference there...

Logical
07-12-2007, 10:49 PM
8 of 18 with two mixed kind of puts the war in a nutshell. A mediocre success so far, not without hope, but not without a lot of room for improvement either.

Still, if what I heard on the radio a few weeks back is true then the 'surge' troops are not all there yet or have only been there shortly.

Hopefully we can show some additional progress next time around.
So I heard the press conference and after it I now doubt that any real progress is being made. Seems like it was all a sell job like the war was originally. It did not inspire me to believe the President's reported results. Maybe the report is factual but the administration has done so many things to make doubting them easier than believing them. Sort of a catch 22 for them at this point.

Radar Chief
07-13-2007, 07:29 AM
seems like i read somewhere that the last of the surge troops have been on the ground around three weeks...

while Baghdad shows some signs of life the real story is anbar, where the local commander joined forces with the shieks and other tribal leaders and have pretty much pushed aq out of the province...

they should try to duplicate anbar in other tribal areas...

and hope that the surge in baghdad makes a difference there...

Yes, the “troop surge” finished landing about three weeks ago and is putting the wraps on the first offensive mission of the surge.
What I'm not seeing in the MSM is that violence is down in and around Baghdad. Sectarian killings, bombings, everything is down.

“Anbar Awakening” has shown great results, but that’s harder to duplicate in other areas. Just like the “clear and hand over authority” plan met with mixed results. Worked great in many areas but not others. From what I read it gets down to the motivation of the local leaders. If they’re not motivated to cooperate, not much gets done.
Read Michael Yon, he’s been writing the most even handed eyewitness accounts I’ve seen. With him, you get “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as he puts it.

Duck Dog
07-13-2007, 02:02 PM
Sorry, folks.... Iraqis are just not going to "stand up." If they had any inclination at all to do so, they'd have done it long, long ago. Our boyz get picked off one by one as we wait for Iraqis to stand up, but they just ain't a'gonna do it. Fugem.

Pretty much.