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Old 08-30-2007, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Pentagon disputes parts of Iraq report

AP - Stung by the bleak findings of a congressional audit of progress in Iraq, the Pentagon has asked that some of the negative assessments be revised, a military spokesman said Thursday.



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Old 09-04-2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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Yipee, we're starting to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'...


U.S. General: Next Few Months Crucial
Sept. 4, 2007 Top U.S. General In Iraq Says Next Few Months Will Determine Whether Troops Can Be Reduced
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The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday that the next three to four months will be crucial in determining whether the United States can start to withdraw troops from Iraq without sacrificing security gains since the troop buildup began early this year. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said the number of attacks in August fell to their lowest level in more than a year, although he gave no figures. Odierno insisted that overall violence was declining _ a sign that the buildup ordered by President Bush was working.

"I think the next three to four months are critical," Odierno told reporters. "I think that if we can continue to do what we are doing, we'll get to such a level where we think we can do it with less troops." Bush himself raised the possibility of a reduction in the 160,000-strong U.S. force during his surprise visit Monday to al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province, where Sunni Arab sheiks have been turning against al-Qaida in Iraq.

Bush said U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and the top commander Gen. David Petraeus "tell me if the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces." Crocker and Petraeus will report to Congress next week on security and political progress since Bush dispatched 30,000 extra troops to Iraq to curb sectarian warfare. Petraeus is expected to point to a dramatic decline in violence in Anbar province thanks to a grass-roots revolt against al-Qaida.

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Old 09-04-2007, 11:52 PM   #3
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White House agrees with Pentagon...

White House downplays Iraq report
September 05, 2007 - THE White House today downplayed a US watchdog report which found the Iraqi government had failed to meet 11 out of 18 benchmarks set by the US Congress, saying it did not show the whole picture.
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"The GAO report takes a static view of progress in Iraq," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto, speaking about the report by the Government Accountability Office. "The GAO was required to determine if benchmarks had or had not been met, and not assess progress," he said, urging everyone to wait for "a more thorough picture of the current status in Iraq and recommendations for the future".

Government auditors found the Iraqi government under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had only fully met three of the benchmarks set earlier this year by the Congress, and partially met four. "Overall, key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $US10 billion in reconstruction funds," it said. But Mr Fratto warned against a rush to judgement.

"It will be more useful to look forward to the testimony of Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus next week, as well as the president's report, for a more thorough picture of the current status in Iraq and recommendations for the future," he said. The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, are due to testify before Congress next week on progress in the war now in its fifth year.

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Iraqi government 'dysfunctional'
September 05, 2007 - AN independent US government auditor today branded the Iraqi government "dysfunctional" at the start of a crucial two weeks of debate on future US war strategy.
Quote:
US Comptroller General David Walker was asked if the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki could be described as a failed enterprise during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing.

"I think you have to say it is dysfunctional, the government is dysfunctional," said Mr Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, after unveiling a progress report on the situation in Iraq.

The report found that the Iraqi government did not meet 11 of 18 benchmarks for security and political reform set by Congress, despite the US troop surge strategy meant to provide conditions for progress.

Iraqi government 'dysfunctional' | NEWS.com.au

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