Surge falling short

The first report on the effects of President Bush's newest strategy in Iraq is in, and it's not good.


Alex Koppelman
June 4, 2007 5:44PM (UTC)

The first full assessment of the Bush administration's "surge" plan's effectiveness in improving conditions in Iraq isn't due until September -- though some generals are saying that may be too early -- but one partial report is already in.

It doesn't look good.

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The New York Times reports today on an internal military assessment it obtained. The assessment, done late last month, shows that even with the increase in troop strength, U.S. and Iraqi forces have as yet been able to secure only one-third of Baghdad's neighborhoods. Surge planners, the Times reports, had expected to be done with the process of securing all of Baghdad's neighborhoods by July. "We were way too optimistic," the Times quotes an unnamed senior military official as saying.

Much of the blame for this is apparently being laid at the feet of Iraqi police and security forces. In some cases, according to the Times, they're not doing an adequate job of the tasks assigned them; at other times, they're more concerned about sectarian loyalties or even participating in attacks on U.S. soldiers.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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