Still another report on Iraq paints a dismal picture of “uneven progress” and inability on the part of the Iraqi government to take over handling security within 12-18 months. The 20 person panel which compiled the report was headed by former Marine Corps Commander, General James Jones. The report indicates Baghdad police and the Ministry of the Interior are essentially dysfunctional. The Jones report indicates some progress in creating units which are effective.
As the report was issued, President Bush was in Australia with his stalwart ally, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia who has pledged to stick it out in Iraq. Unfortunately, for Howard and Bush, the Australian electorate does not share their enthusiasm. All polls indicate a landslide victory for the Labor opposition party in next week’s parliamentary election. Kevin Rudd, leader of the Labor Party, has pledged to begin withdrawal of Australian forces.