September Looms as Iraq Watershed

Legislative, military timetables converge with fiscal year
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2007 8:18 AM CDT
U.S. marines and Iraqi soldiers on patrol the Shiite district of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, May 8, 2007. U.S marines and and soldiers and Iraqi soldiers searched a neighborhood for weapons and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – September is likely to be put-up-or-shut-up time for supporters of the Iraq war, legislators from both parties tell the Washington Post. Gen. David Petraeus has said he will have a sense of whether the surge is working by then, and lawmakers want a clearer picture of America's future involvement before the fiscal year begins October 1.

September also coincides with Ramadan. If the now-traditional wave of Iraqi violence recurs this year, it will be hard for the administration to argue that increased troop levels are having an effect. "There is a sense that by September, you've got to see real action on the part of Iraqis," says Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican.