New U.S. intelligence assessment casts doubts on Bush’s Iraq policy
By Jonathan S. Landay and Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy, July 11, 2007
The Shiite Muslim-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has made only “halting efforts” to end the power struggle fueling the war between Iraq’s religious and ethnic communities, a new U.S. intelligence report said Wednesday.
Even if the bloodletting can be contained, Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders will be “hard pressed” to reach lasting political reconciliation, the report stated.
The report, reflecting the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, cast new uncertainty about the chances of success for President Bush’s plan to contain the war through the deployment of an additional 28,000 U.S. troops, mostly in and around Baghdad.
The conclusions also appeared to be bleaker than a White House assessment produced by the top U.S. officials in Baghdad, which found that Iraqi politicians have made satisfactory progress on some of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress in May. [complete article]