AUFC says Pentagon Report Contradicts Bush Admin Assessments of Progress in Iraq

Washington , D.C. – This week, the Pentagon released a report showing that the escalation of troops in Iraq has not resulted in any decrease in violence there and that the Iraqis are making no progress towards political solutions to end the civil war. Instead, May was the 3rd deadliest month since the war began four years ago, and our brave soldiers continue to lose their lives. When it comes to the war in Iraq, Senator John Sununu (R-NH) has continued to support President Bush’s failed policies, voting repeatedly to support the President’s open-ended commitment of U.S.troops policing a bloody civil war that has no end in sight.

“When is John Sununu going to get his head out of the sand and admit the real situation on the ground in Iraq,” said Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United for Change. “We are four years into a war that George Bush falsely led us into with no plan to win the peace and no plan to bring our troops home. The Pentagon says our strategy in Iraq has failed and the American people are saying it’s time to change course. What is it going to take for John Sununu to put the reality of what’s happening on the ground ahead of blind loyalty to President Bush? When will he see that we are not making progress and it’s time for a change in direction in Iraq?”

Pentagon Report on Iraq:

Violence in Iraq has not decreased (which was the point of the “surge”) : Three months into the new U.S.military strategy that has sent tens of thousands of additional troops into Iraq, overall levels of violence in the country have not decreased, as attacks have shifted away from Baghdad and Anbar, where American forces are concentrated, only to rise in most other provinces, according to a Pentagon report released yesterday. Wash Post, June14, 2007

There has been no progress made by the Iraq government towards achieving political solutions outlined by Bush in January: 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." Indeed, "some analysts see a growing fragmentation of Iraq," it said, noting that 36 percent of Iraqis believe "the Iraqi people would be better off if the country were divided into three or more separate countries." Wash Post, June 14, 2007

That there is little cause for the optimistic assessments of civilian military leaders: The 46-page report, mandated quarterly by Congress, tempers the early optimism about the new strategy voiced by senior U.S.officials. DefenseSecretary Robert M. Gates, for instance, in March described progress in Iraq as "so far, so good." Instead, it depicts limited gains and setbacks and states that it is too soon to judge whether the new approach is working. Wash Post, June 14, 2007

The bulk of the violence is sectarian, not foreign terrorists: It attributes the bulk of the violence to "sectarian friction" that reaches deep into Iraq's Shiite-dominated government and security forces. Wash Post, June 14, 2007