Despite hopes that the U.S. military "surge" in Iraq would encourage economic and political headway and sap the strength of the insurgency, very little lasting progress has been achieved, according to a new U.S. report. It said that with the exception of [the pet media friendly project in] Anbar province, there has been "little progress" toward political reconciliation, a key U.S. goal.
The new report, by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, warns that Iraq "will require years of steady engagement" before there is significant progress in providing Iraqis with power and clean water, jobs, health resources and government that works. One U.S. official in Iraq, quoted anonymously in the report, said he foresaw a "train wreck" ahead as costly U.S. projects in Iraq grind to a halt for lack of manpower or maintenance.
The report documented "a growing public frustration" of Iraqis with their government. As a result, there has been "little progress" toward political reconciliation, which it said was being undermined by jockeying for power among rival Shiite groups and a "sense of alienation" on the part of the minority Sunnis. The report's grim conclusions parallel previous U.S. assessments, including a major national intelligence estimate in August that said there had been little economic improvement. More