Yet another report on Iraq was released this week, this time by the Pentagon. DOD is required by Congress to release quarterly reports called “Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq.” The latest one (pdf file) released to the public Sept. 17, covers June, July and August.
The Washington Post report on the report focuses on the deteriorating situation in southern Iraq, “as rival Shiite militias vying for power have stepped up their attacks after moving out of Baghdad” in response to the “surge.” But the report featured both good and bad news:
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal scored an interview with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and once again Gates seems to be out ahead of the president on making changes in Iraq. Here is the opening to that story:
In an interview in the Pentagon, Mr. Gates also said part of the long-range security structure would be stronger military partnerships with some of America’s friends in the Gulf area, helping them build better counterterrorism forces as well as regional air- and missile-defense systems to check Iranian ambitions.
What was missing from his vision for Iraq and the broader region was talk about transforming the region and spreading democracy. Instead, the Pentagon chief seemed much more focused on transforming the debate in Washington so the next president inherits a long-term strategy for Iraq and the region that both Republicans and Democrats can support.
Elsewhere, the New York Times reports on data collected by the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization on internal migration in the country. Perhaps surprisingly, the data show migration patterns haven’t made partition an easier prospect:
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