A new independent report from a congressionally appointed panel of retired senior military officers criticizes Iraq’s “dysfunctional” Interior Ministry, noting rife sectarianism and corruption. The report also blames Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for problems with Iraq’s army, which it says will not be self-sufficient for at least two years.
The Iraqi government appears unlikely to pass three key proposals that the U.S. has laid out as benchmarks for continuing support. Even so, it seems unlikely that redistributing Iraq’s oil wealth, as one proposal mandates, or giving more power to the Iraqi president would do much to bring security and opportunity to the Iraqi people.
According to Gallup, a majority of Americans disapprove of the way all parties involved are handling Iraq, though the Dems got slightly better numbers than Bush or congressional Republicans. Most Americans want some kind of timetable, and a huge majority wants benchmarks for progress.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., took turns trash-talking each other’s Iraq proposals on Sunday’s “This Week.” Hagel threw McCain’s words back at him, calling his benchmark plan for Iraq “disingenuous,” while McCain said that, other than his own, “they’re all bad options….”