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GAO Report: The Status of the Dispute

Okay, here’s the Karen DeYoung report I was so impatient for yesterday. She lays out mostly the changes that I found here, ThinkProgress found here, and NSN found here.

A bleak portrait of the political and security situation in Iraq released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office sparked sharp protests from the top U.S. military command in Baghdad, whose officials described it as flawed and "factually incorrect."

The controversy followed last-minute changes made in the final draft of the report after the Defense Departmentmaintained that its conclusions were too harsh and insisted that someof the information it contained — such as the extent of a fall in thenumber of Iraqi army units capable of operating without U.S. assistance– should not appear in the final, unclassified version.

The GAO rejected several changes proposed by the Pentagonand concluded that Iraq had failed to meet all but two of nine securitygoals Congress had set as part of a list of 18 benchmarks of progress.But grades for two of the seven unmet security benchmarks — theelimination of havens for militia forces and the deployment of threeIraqi army brigades to assist the U.S. security plan in Baghdad — wererecast to reflect partial progress. Two other benchmarks, one politicaland one economic, were also described as "partially met." [my emphasis]

If I’m reading the bolded paragraph correctly, it says the military succeeded in burying the details about how few Iraqi army units can operate on their own; it was evident that the GAO had changed this benchmark from failing to mostly failing partial success, but I guess the actual numbers are even more damning than the Gentleman’s C grade on it is.

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