Some recent headlines:
Report Finds Little Progress On Iraq Goals
GAO Draft at Odds With White House
By Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 30, 2007; Page A01
Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration.
The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.
U.S. Weapons, Given to Iraqis, Move to Turkey
By DAVID S. CLOUD and ERIC SCHMITT
Published: August 30, 2007
WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 — Weapons that were originally given to Iraqi security forces by the American military have been recovered over the past year by the authorities in Turkey after being used in violent crimes in that country, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
The discovery that serial numbers on pistols and other weapons recovered in Turkey matched those distributed to Iraqi police units has prompted growing concern by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that controls on weapons being provided to Iraqis are inadequate. It was also a factor in the decision to dispatch the department’s inspector general to Iraq next week to investigate the problem, the officials said.
Pentagon won't make surge recommendation to Bush
By Nancy A. Youssef McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
WASHINGTON — In a sign that top commanders are divided over what course to pursue in Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it won't make a single, unified recommendation to President Bush during next month's strategy assessment, but instead will allow top commanders to make individual presentations.
"Consensus is not the goal of the process," Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "If there are differences, the president will hear them."
Military analysts called the move unusual for an institution that ordinarily does not air its differences in public, especially while its troops are deployed in combat.
Rep.: Iraq goal no longer should be democracy
By Kathy Barks Hoffman - The Associated Press
Posted : Saturday Aug 25, 2007 7:59:00 EDT
LANSING, Mich. — The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee said Friday the president needs to move away from trying to establish democracy in Iraq and concentrate instead on security and stability.
“Establishing a democracy in the time frame that we’ve wanted to do it, over the period of three to five years, was too big of a reach,” Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra said after the taping of public television’s “Off the Record” program.
“The president has to be willing to say, ‘I’m going to take democracy off the table. We’re going to aim for safety and stability,’ ” he said.
Report Offers Grim View of Iraqi Leaders
By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: August 24, 2007
WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 — A stark assessment released Thursday by the nation’s intelligence agencies depicts a paralyzed Iraqi government unable to take advantage of the security gains achieved by the thousands of extra American troops dispatched to the country this year.
The assessment, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, casts strong doubts on the viability of the Bush administration strategy in Iraq. It gives a dim prognosis on the likelihood that Iraqi politicians can heal deep sectarian rifts before next spring, when American military commanders have said that a crunch on available troops will require reducing the United States’ presence in Iraq.
Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police
AP IMPACT: Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police Nationwide; Officer Training Curtailed
By ESTES THOMPSON Associated Press Writer
Aug 17, 2007 (AP)
Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol.
An Associated Press review of dozens of police and sheriff's departments found that many are struggling with delays of as long as a year for both handgun and rifle ammunition. And the shortages are resulting in prices as much as double what departments were paying just a year ago.