Friday, August 31, 2007

Iraq benchmark report; Bush surge a failure

Washington, DC - Iraq has met only 3 out of 18 goals

August 31, 2007

(benchmarks) set by Congress, according to a draft leaked to The Washington Post by the military so the White House couldn't doctor it before its release.

The report, which the Post described as "strikingly negative", is due to be delivered to Congress on Tuesday, ahead of a pivotal report on Iraq by the U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and ambassador Ryan Crocker due by September 15.

"Overall," the report concludes, "key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds," as promised. While it makes no policy recommendations, the draft suggests that future administration assessments "would be more useful" if they backed up their judgments with more details and "provided data on broader measures of violence from all relevant U.S. agencies."
The Bush administration is scheduled to deliver a report on the war to Congress in mid-September, focusing on the Iraqi government's progress toward 18 security and political "benchmarks" lawmakers included in a $120 billion war-spending bill in May.


Pentagon Asks Congressional Auditors to Revise Iraq Benchmark Report Findings

Thursday, August 30, 2007

WASHINGTON — 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.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Thursday that after reviewing a draft of the Government Accountability Office report — which has not yet been made public — policy officials "made some factual corrections" and "offered some suggestions on a few of the actual grades" assigned by the GAO.

The GAO report was on track to conclude that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks set to judge the Iraqi government's performance in the political and security arenas haven't been met.

"We have provided the GAO with information which we believe will lead them to conclude that a few of the benchmark grades should be upgraded from `not met' to `met,"' Morrell said. He declined to elaborate or to spell out which of the benchmark grades the Pentagon was disputing.


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