A new report to be issued Thursday by the State Department’s Inspector General will show that the military is missing a number of its “key milestones” for the transition of responsibilities in Iraq.
The report concedes that some of the delays are “beyond the Department’s control” but says that others are simply a function of decision-making delays, it cautions that the military is falling “significantly behind schedule” on the planned handover.
Some of this may be the result of the usual bureaucratic incompetence so often seen in overseas missions, but at a time when the military is petitioning hard to continue its presence in Iraq it is perhaps unsurprising to see them dragging their feet in this manner.
The current official plan is to replace the US military force with a massive private army of civilian contractors operating under State Department control. This force would be presumed to stay for years before the December 2011 deadline for ending the war. US officials have made it clear, however, that they want to retain a significant military presence in addition to this State Department force, potentially for years going forward.
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