The Guardian reports GAO disputes claims from Pentagon report on Iraq.
Baghdad has made scant progress toward self-sufficiency and the Bush administration has no workable strategy to achieve that goal, US government auditors said yesterday.
The audit released by the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) painted a starkly different picture of the war than another report issued yesterday by the Pentagon…
The GAO appeared to take a dim view of the administration’s top-secret Joint Campaign Plan (JCP) … The JCP “is not a strategic plan; it is an operational plan with limitations,” the government auditors concluded.
The LA Times adds “the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, concluded that many political reconciliation efforts have stalled, that Iraq’s security forces remain largely unable to operate without U.S. assistance and that its central government has not fulfilled commitments to spend its own money on reconstruction. As a result, a new U.S. strategy for attaining military, political and economic goals is needed, the GAO said.”
And this will come as a surprise to no one: “More broadly, the GAO said the Bush administration has not planned adequately for the drawdown of troops sent for last year’s buildup. Most of the additional forces are expected to leave Iraq by the end of July.” Of course Bush and McCain do not plan on the troops leaving… before the last drop of oil is gone.
The Washington Post reports Four Americans were killed in Baghdad blast. At about 9:20 a.m. an explosion rocked government building in Sadr city. Two U.S. soldiers and two American civilians working for the U.S. State department were killed in the blast.
“At least one Iraqi was killed in the explosion. Wire service reports said as many as six Iraqis died. One U.S. soldier and three Sadr City district advisory council members also were wounded in the attack, the U.S. military said.”
The LA Times reports the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.
A little more is now known about the attack earlier in the week that killed two U.S. soldiers in an ambush near Baghdad. According to the LA Times, “A gunman ambushed the soldiers and their interpreter, who was wounded in the exchange, as they left the Madaen municipal building”.
The Interior Ministry in Baghdad identified the gunman as a local official and said he emerged from the building with the Americans, pulled a Kalashnikov assault rifle from the trunk of his car and sprayed them with bullets. The man’s colleagues sought cover as the Americans returned fire and killed him, according to the ministry, which oversees the police.
But witnesses said the assailant was a former council member who joined the Sunni Muslim insurgency after he was ousted from his job in sectarian fighting in 2006.
“He was sitting in his vehicle right in front of the municipal headquarters and opened fire with a Kalashnikov on the Americans as they were leaving the building,” said the owner of a nearby farm equipment store, who asked to be identified by a traditional nickname, Abu Ali. “Other Americans immediately opened fire on [the man] in his car, and he was killed instantly.”
Elsewhere in Iraq, violence continues. “At least 15 people were killed and 40 injured Sunday when a woman blew herself up at the civic center in Baqubah, Diyala’s capital, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Hours later, a volley of mortar fire slammed into a checkpoint manned by Sunni Arab tribesmen hired by the U.S. military to guard their areas against militants. Police said at least 10 people were killed and 24 injured in that attack, which took place north of Baqubah.”
Just a reminder the GAO found Bush “has no workable strategy” to move Iraq toward self-sufficiency or bring the troops home and McCain wants to continue the Bush strategy in Iraq.
Four at Four continues with news from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and possible research that could save the world’s frogs.