Little progress seen on Iraq goals
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 47 minutes ago
“WASHINGTON – The Iraqi government has failed to meet the vast majority of political and military goals laid out by lawmakers to assess President Bush‘s Iraq war strategy, congressional auditors have determined.
The Associated Press has learned the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, will report that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks to measure the surge of U.S. troops to Iraq are unfulfilled ahead of a Sept. 15 deadline. That’s when Bush is to give a detailed accounting of the situation eight months after he announced the policy, according to three officials familiar with the matter.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public, also said the administration is preparing a case to play down the findings, arguing that Congress ordered the GAO to use unfair, “all or nothing” standards when compiling the document.
The GAO is to give a classified briefing about its findings to lawmakers on Thursday. It is not yet clear when its unclassified report will be released but it is due Sept. 1 amid a series of assessments called for in January legislation that authorized Bush’s plan to send 30,000 more troops to Iraq, where there is now a total of more than 160,000 troops.
Among those Bush will hear from are the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Defense Secretary Robert Gates; the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus; and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker. The Pentagon said Wednesday Bush was likely to get a variety of views from different military officials. Bush will then deliver his own report to Congress by Sept. 15.
The GAO report comes at a pivotal time in the Iraq debate. So far, Republicans have mostly stood by Bush on the war and staved off Democratic demands of troop withdrawals. But in exchange for their support, many GOP members said they wanted to see substantial progress in Iraq by September or else they would call for a new strategy, including possibly a withdrawal of troops.” (read article here)
“the administration is preparing a case to play down the findings, arguing that Congress ordered the GAO to use unfair, “all or nothing” standards when compiling the document.”
Okay, if I remember correctly after years of public school, college, debate, logic, etc., isn’t a benchmark something you achieve or you don’t?