Wednesday, October 31, 2007

GAO: U.S. hasn't taken advantage of Iraq's drop in violence

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Iraqi governments have failed to take advantage of a dramatic drop in violence in Iraq , according to a report issued Tuesday by a U.S. watchdog agency, which warned that prospects were waning "for achieving current U.S. security, political and economic goals in Iraq ."

Iraqi leaders have not passed legislation to foster reconciliation among Shiite Muslims, Sunnis and Kurds, and sectarian groups still retain control of ministries and divide Iraqi security forces, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

Moreover, the Bush administration's efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq are plagued by weak planning, a lack of coordination with the Iraqi government and among U.S. agencies, and an absence of detailed information on "the current and future costs of U.S. involvement in Iraq ," it said.

"U.S. efforts lack strategies with clear purpose, scope, roles and performance measures," the report said.

The findings raise questions about whether the increase of U.S. troops that began last February will ultimately achieve the goal of giving Iraqi political leaders enough of a respite from violence that that they can work to resolve Iraq's many problems. The report comes as the Democrat-controlled Congress begins weighing Prsident Bush's request for another $196 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ............

No comments: