Monday, July 11, 2005

Public Reports and Secret Memos

David Broder points out that Donald Rumsfeld owes Congress a progress report on Iraq--and it's due today:
Under a little-noticed provision of the defense spending bill passed by Congress in May, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld has until July 11 to send Capitol Hill a "comprehensive set of performance indicators and measures of stability and security" two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
A Pentagon spokeswoman, responding to my inquiry, said last week, "We are working toward completing the report by the due date."
I've heard no word of the report yet, but there is a secret plan to reduce troop levels:
LONDON, July 10 -- The United States and Britain are drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year, according to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid.
The paper, which is marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops.

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