Report to say Iraqis haven't met any goals
BY ANNE FLAHERTY and ANNE GEARAN Associated Press
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
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
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. "The
real question is how the White
House proceeds with a post-surge strategy in light of the
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 bill and
votes on a Democratic amendment ordering troop withdrawals to begin within 120
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
Collins and Nelson say their
binding amendment would order the U.S. mission to focus
on training Iraqi security forces, targeting al-Qaida members and protecting Iraq's borders.
Republican support for the
war has eroded steadily since
Bush's decision in January to
send about 30,000 additional
personnel to Iraq.
He said at the time that the
Iraqis agreed to meet certain
benchmarks, such as enacting
a law to divide the country's oil
Congress agreed this spring
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.
A draft version of the administration's progress report circulated Monday among various government agencies in
The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, tried Monday to lower expectations on
the report, contending that all
of the additional troops had
just been put in place and that
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," he said. "I'm not sure
everyone's going to get an 'A'
on the first report."