Required Reading for Petraeus, Crocker Testimony
With the long-awaited surge progress report from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker due beginning today, Perrspectives has updated its Iraq Document Center. The repository includes the latest news, statistics, key reports and other essential materials surrounding the Iraq war and its run-up.
For more background to assess the Petraeus and Crocker testimony, the Iraq Document Center includes several recent reports concerning progress in Iraq, the state of the Iraqi security forces, and the stability of the Al Maliki government. These include an updated National Intelligence Estimate as well as President Bush's interim July report and the much more pessimistic GAO assessment. In addition, the Jones Report from the Independent Commission on Iraqi Security Forces as well as a gloomy forecast for the Iraqi government by the Congressional Research Service is also provided. You can also see General Petraeus' assessment in his letter to his troops in Iraq.
No doubt, President Bush's supporters and critics alike will selectively cite statistics of attacks on coalition forces, U.S. and Iraqi casualties, sectarian violence, oil production, energy availability and other economic indicators to proclaim progress or quagmire. The Washington Post offers a helpful summary of key statistics, while the AP has assembled a devastating chart of rising insurgent attacks against U.S and Iraqi forces. For more background on the utility and meaning of the Iraq numbers, Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly provides compelling data and analysis.
As the New York Times reports, General Petraeus in his testimony to Congress this week will call for continuing the surge for at least the next six months, with token troop withdrawals starting perhaps in December. (According to the Washington Post, that recommendation is causing division even inside the Bush administration.) But you can decide for yourself.
Visit the Iraq Document Center.