WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top U.S. diplomat in Iraq said Thursday that Baghdad was making some political progress but faces considerable difficulty in trying to heal a nation long gripped by violence.
Iraq is a nation gripped by fear and struggling to meet security and political goals by September, U.S. officials said Thursday from Baghdad, dashing hopes in Congress that the country might turn a corner this summer. One general said not to expect a solid judgment on the U.S. troop buildup until November.
The US ambassador to Baghdad Thursday warned Iraq was unlikely to hit its targets under the American "troop surge" plan by September, but said he knew of no 'Plan B' alternative war strategy.
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.
Lawmakers from two major blocs in Iraq's parliament ended boycotts and returned to work this week, just two weeks before all the politicians go home for a controversial monthlong summer break.
The No. 2 U.S. general in Iraq said Thursday that it would be at least November before he could fully assess whether the U.S. military strategy in Iraq is working.
The Bush administration has urged Congress to wait until a report in September from Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker before considering a reduction of the 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
U.S. troops in Iraq should receive 2,500 to 3,000 special armored vehicles by year's end if Congress approves $1.2 billion in 2007 defense spending, a top Pentagon official said on Thursday, down from 3,400 vehicles announced just a day earlier.
Iraq is a nation gripped by fear and struggling to meet security and political goals by September, U.S. officials said Thursday from Baghdad, dashing hopes in Congress that the country might turn a corner this summer.
The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda.