Senators Express Concern About Lack of Iraqi Govt Deal Ahead of Troop Drawdown

Incoming Ambassador Claims 'Progress'

During a hearing to consider James Jeffrey’s nomination to be the next Ambassador to Iraq, a number of US Senators expressed concerns about the lack of progress in forming a new government since the March 7 election.

“Our military has been involved in areas of governance far beyond security, and turning over those critical responsibilities will be challenging,” noted Sen. Lugar (R – IN). Iraq has had a caretaker government since the March 7 vote, and there is no end in sight to the discussion on who will form the next government.

Yet Ambassador Jeffrey was, as all officials are about Iraq, remarkably upbeat. He claimed there were significant improvements in security and the production of electricity, though he conceded there was no guarantee that it would be sustainable.

Even these upbeat claims seem to fly in the face of the general trends, as security has decayed dramatically since the March 7 vote. The claims of progress on electricity generation seem even more absurd, given the virtually daily protests in major cities complaining of blackouts and the fact that the Electricity Minister only recently had to resign in disgrace.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.