Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Testimony: US intelligence chiefs grim about Iraq's future

Above: Soldiers of the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in Grafenwoehr, Germany prepare 300 Stryker armored personal carriers today for the unit's 15-month deployment to Iraq in August.

Top US intelligence officials gave a bleak appraisal Wednesday of Iraq's chances of stemming political and religious strife and so helping the US administration to declare success in the nation.

Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence, told Congress that US President George W. Bush's "surge" of up to 30,000 more troops into Iraq had done little yet to stem the bloodshed.

He said that "even if violence is diminished, given the current winner-take-all attitude and sectarian animosities infecting the political scene, Iraqi leaders will be hard pressed to achieve sustained political reconciliation."

In prepared testimony to the House of Representatives armed services committee, Fingar said essential public services in Iraq remain "inadequate," oil output is below pre-war levels and electricity supply has fallen.

"With political reconciliation showing few appreciable gains, we have noted that Iraqis increasingly resort to violence," he said.

Read the rest at Yahoo News