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White House's latest report on Iraq shows lack of progress

According to CNN, the White House report released on Friday to U.S. lawmakers on progress in Iraq “showed meager gains on benchmarks that Congress established for the Iraqi government,? while the New York Times calls the report “decidedly mixed.?
The report found that Iraqi leaders had satisfactorily met nine of the 18 “benchmarks? mandated by Congress this year over whether to finance an increase in the U.S. force in Iraq.
According to the New York Times, “The White House report declared that eight other benchmarks had not been met or had only partly been met. Progress in two other areas could not be fully assessed,? with CNN noting that the two benchmarks “are not rated because the necessary preconditions are not yet present.?
CNN details more specifics of the benchmarks of the report. The report gave the Baghdad government mixed marks, saying that while military commanders were given more independence to effectively work with U.S. commanders, political intervention in the chain of command continued.
According to CNN, the report also shows improvement in ensuring the Iraqi security forces provide evenhanded enforcement of the law, although police forces continue to fall short.
The New York Times reports that “the Iraqi police ‘still act with a sectarian bias,’ that political leaders had interfered with efforts to crack down on Shiite militias and that those militias, not the government, controlled neighborhoods and even entire regions.?
CNN says the White House based the latest report on consultations with the State and Defense departments, Central Command commander Adm. William Fallon, Gen. David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker. Meanwhile, the New York Times says,? An administration official said on Friday that the White House hopes to scrap the benchmark exercise altogether and simply rely on the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and the ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker to make a new progress report to Congress in March.?
The New York Times notes that the administration has “repeatedly played down the significance of the benchmarks as it became clear they would portray Iraq’s central government as paralyzed? in the weeks leading up to the release of the report.

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/14/iraq.benchmarks/index.html">http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/14/iraq.benchmarks/index.html

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/15/washington/15policy.html?_r=1&oref=slogin