With the White House’s “surge” policy in full swing for months now, the president frequently talks about “progress.” Dick Cheney sees “progress.” Joe Lieberman and Senate Republicans insist there’s all kinds of “progress.”
But the Pentagon, which didn’t exactly think the surge was a good idea in the first place, sees “little progress.”
Iraq’s government, for its part, has proven “uneven” in delivering on its commitments under the strategy, [a new Pentagon] report said, stating that public pledges by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have in many cases produced no concrete results. Iraqi leaders have made “little progress” on the overarching political goals that the stepped-up security operations are intended to help advance, the report said, calling reconciliation between Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni factions “a serious unfulfilled objective.”
Violence is up, sectarian conflict is worse, and none of the political benchmarks have been met. If there’s “progress,” it’s hiding well.
Indeed, the LA Times emphasizes that there have been “increased attacks in cities and provinces that had been relatively peaceful before the Bush administration’s troop buildup.” In other words, it’s like squeezing the proverbial water-filled balloon — U.S. focus on Baghdad and western Iraq hasn’t stopped violence; it’s pushed insurgents elsewhere.
Back in January, when the “surge” was unveiled, war supporters in the administration said we’d be able to see the success of the policy “fairly quickly.” Apparently, that’s no longer operative.