"Surge" Falls Far Short after Three Months

4 de junio de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>"Surge" Falls Far Short after Three Months</h1><p>June 4, 2007 (LPAC)--The Bush-Cheney "surge" is far short of its goals, three months after it began, according to U.S. military commanders and an internal military assessment obtained by the <em>New York Times</em> . The assessment, completed in late May, says the U.S. and Iraqi forces are only able to "protect the population" and "maintain physical influence over" less than one-third of 457 Baghdad neighborhoods.</p><p>Violence has decreased in some areas, but it remains chronic in others, particularly mixed Shia-Sunni neighborhoods in western Baghdad. In the Rashid district of western Baghdad, there are three times as many U.S. troops than in March, yet violence is way up - 249 bodies were found last month, and the Mahdi Army has been ethnically cleansing the area of Sunnis, according to the report.</p><p>The operation "is at a difficult point right now, to be sure," said Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, who has responsibility for Baghdad. He said the slow progress is because Iraqi police and army units haven't provided the forces promised, and often perform poorly. In some areas, the Iraqi forces are collaborating with Shiite insurgents who are attacking U.S. forces.</p><p>The assumption was that most Baghdad neighborhoods would be under control by July. "We were way too optimistic," says an unnamed senior U.S. military officer.</p></div></body>