While those figures confirm the assessments by American military commanders that many of the security improvements that first became apparent last fall are still holding, a number of the figures that have been used to show broader progress in Iraq are either misleading or simply incorrect, the report says.And adds:
Still more important, the report asserts, the administration’s plan is not a strategy at all, but more a series of operational prescriptions scattered among various documents reviewed by the accountability office. “A strategic plan should be a plan that takes you not only through the short term,” said Joseph A. Christoff, director of international affairs and trade at the accountability office. “If the New Way Forward only takes you through July 2008, then you don’t have any guidance for achieving an Iraq that can do everything on its own,” including dealing with the threat of terrorism and defending its own borders, Mr. Christoff said. Perhaps the most confounding element in the report is the sharp disagreement between the accountability office and the administration over the value of basic indicators of progress.Let's not take the word of the "liberal Bible" alone on this. So that we've two points of view, we'll check in w/ the WaPo .
The GAO report contrasted with a Pentagon report, dated June 13 but not released until yesterday. The Defense Department's quarterly assessment to Congress, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq," said that "security, political and economic trends in Iraq continue to be positive, although they remain fragile, reversible and uneven." In many respects, the two reports seemed to assess wholly different realities. The 74-page Pentagon document emphasized what it called the "negative role" in Iraqi security that Iran and Syria have played. The 94-page GAO report did not mention Iran and referred to Syria only in the context of Iraqi refugees who had settled there.As was said (over & over) in the late '60s, "What is reality?" No one, however, expected that concept to make its way into gov't. work, in the form of "Which reality?"