The White House's interim report on its progress in Iraq, to be released today, will cite "satisfactory" work on eight of 18 benchmarks set by Congress, insufficient improvement on eight more, and mixed results on the final two. Most of the positive movement has been on the military front, the Washington Post reports, and the failures in the political arena.
The administration's analysis directly contradicts US intelligence services' uniformly bleak view revealed yesterday, that Iraqi forces will be incapable of providing security for years to come, in view of deepening sectarian rivalries will. Bush is expected to argue that troops sent in March's "surge" haven't been in Iraq long enough to make major progress and they should be given more time. A second report is due in September. (Read more Iraq stories.)