View Full Version : U.S. Sees Iraqi Progress, But Key Tests Ahead

12-27-2005, 08:54 AM
27 Dec. Christian Science Monitor - U.S. Sees Iraqi Progress, But Key Tests Ahead (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1227/p01s02-usfp.html).

... "We've had a lot of these statements of progress just around the corner," says Andrew Krepinevich, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. But "2006 is the crucial year.

American officials and experts have talked many times of turning points and crucial months since the fall of Baghdad. Some analysts caution against drawing too many conclusions from the year to come.

But in three crucial areas - politics, military training, and military strategy - the Iraq enterprise is moving from infancy toward maturity.

In recent weeks, there have been positive signs. The Dec. 15 election gave the country its first permanent government since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Last month, Iraqi soldiers began to take a more active role in the country's own defenses, particularly in the offensive against insurgents in Tal Afar. And a clearer strategy of patrolling border regions, clearing insurgents from cities, and holding the territory to prevent their return played a part in a drop in car bombings in November, officials said...