Petraeus Bemoans Iraq's Political Progress

Proposes second report in March
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 9:54 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Defense Department shows Ambassador Ryan Crocker, left, meeting with outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, center, and Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander, multi-national...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Writing to US troops in a preview of his report to Congress next week, Gen. David Petraeus said political progress in Iraq has not matched the aspirations the US had hoped to attain with the surge. But he was quick to stress decreasing violence on the ground, the Washington Post reports, and aims to testify again in March.

Petraeus has indicated he would accept a token withdrawal of 3,500-5,000 troops, but hopes to delay further reductions until spring. The White House, which has long urged critics to wait for Petraeus’ report, is now insisting that the president will make the final decision—a sign that strategy change is unlikely.