Thursday, August 23, 2007

U.S. report sees precarious Iraqi government

The Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months and its security forces have not improved enough to operate without outside help, intelligence analysts conclude in a new National Intelligence Estimate.

Despite uneven improvements, the analysts concluded that the level of overall violence is high, Iraq's sectarian groups remain unreconciled, and al-Qaida in Iraq is still able to conduct its highly visible attacks.

"Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively," the 10-page document concludes. A copy was obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Thursday.

Joe Sudbay (DC): Reid and Pelosi on the NIE: Bush's "surge" failed. We need a new plan for Iraq. Now. Bush really seems to hate it when anyone questions his failed Iraq strategy. For years, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate never challenged him. Today's release of the National Intelligence Estimate just provides further proof that Bush has failed. We need a change of course. Most of America gets it. Bush still doesn't.

Majority Leader Reid: Today's National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq confirms what most Americans already know: Our troops are mired in an Iraqi civil war and the President's escalation strategy has failed to produce the political results he promised to our troops and the American people. Our troops have done everything asked of them and more. Unfortunately Iraq's leaders have not. And as today's NIE makes clear, a political solution is extremely unlikely in the near term. Further pursuit of the Administration's flawed escalation strategy is not in our nation's best interests. Every day that we continue to stick to the President's flawed strategy is a day that America is not as secure as it could be. As the intelligence community reported in another NIE just weeks ago, America's attention is distracted from Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, which has regenerated its capacity to its pre-9/11 levels. That is why it is so essential that this September, Republicans join with Democrats to change course in Iraq and work to restore our nation's security.

Speaker Pelosi: In today’s National Intelligence Estimate, the American people were presented with yet more evidence that the Iraqi government has failed to take the necessary steps to reach political reconciliation. Our military has performed their duties excellently, but the purpose of the escalation in Iraq was to create a secure environment in which political change could occur, and it is clear that the Iraqi leaders have failed to make progress.We need a New Direction to bring our troops home from Iraq so that America can refocus its efforts against terrorism worldwide.

See also: Director of National Intelligence McConnell: Debating FISA in Congress will kill Americans [LSB: Apparently even the mere mention that we have surveillance measures sets off a spate of unAmerican invectives by W's minions.]

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