September is on its way and that means the long awaited report from General Petraeus.
Reports to be released:
Sept 4: GAO report on Iraq
Sept 4-6: A report to Congress from its independent commission headed by Marine Gen. James Jones on Iraqi security forces.
Sept 10-15: White House Benchmark Report and testimony to Congress from Gen.Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
The big story this week is that the Congressionally Commissioned GAO report was leaked to the Washington Post by an "official" who feared that its conclusions would be watered down much as this month's National Intelligence Assessment was. In fact, the report hints that the "range of views" that actually exist in the Administration were not been reflected in past reports issued by the White House.
According to the leak, Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks.
Among the findings are the following:
1. Attacks against US troops are down, but attacks against Iraqis remain unchanged.
2. There has been little marked improvement in the capabilities of Iraqi security forces.
3. The Iraqi government has done nothing to resolve sectarian issues.
4. That the Bush Administration has failed to provide adequate data to support their past assessments of the war in Iraq.
This last "finding" is long overdue.
There has long been a rift between the civilian and military leadership. I will be very interested to hear what General Jones' report says. My bet is that it will corroborate the GAO report.