12.25.2007

New Reports Undercut Claims that the Surge Is Working

Will all the talk, and it is just talk, that the surge is an unmitigated success, those claiming it as such leave out the most important facts of all: not a single bit of political movement has occurred since the surge began, which was the entire point of the surge.

From McClatchy:

Despite significant security gains in much of Iraq, nothing has changed within Iraq's political leadership to guarantee sustainable peace, a Pentagon report released Tuesday found.

The congressionally mandated quarterly report suggests that the drop in violence won't hold unless Iraq's central government passes key legislation, improves the way it manages its security forces and finds a way to reconcile the country's competing sects. It said none of those steps has been taken.

"Although security gains, local accommodation and progress against the flow of foreign fighters and lethal aid into Iraq have had a substantial effect, more needs to be done to foster national, 'top-down' reconciliation to sustain the gains," the report said.

[snip]

...the report also said that the Iraqi government has failed to improve basic services such as water and electricity and hasn't passed legislation outlining how it would distribute oil revenues or hold provincial elections. Most sessions, the parliament struggles to reach a quorum.

Corruption remains a major problem throughout the government. The report cited both the Ministry of Interior, which runs the police force, and the oil industry, Iraq's largest generator of revenue. "Corruption and sectarian behavior continue to be evident in the MoI," the report said. "Corruption at all levels of the oil industry remains a significant problem."

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