"President Bush's agenda at a NATO summit this week will include pressing alliance members to increase defense spending," per the AP. "Aides say many U.S. allies are ill-equipped for modern military operations."
The Bush-Maliki meeting later this week "is fraught with danger for Maliki. Both Shiite and Sunni leaders have criticized the prime minister; one prominent Sunni religious leader warned that the violence in Iraq could swell throughout the Middle East if the global community continues to back Maliki. Adding to the tension, Shiite politicians led by anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who form a key constituency for Maliki, are threatening to boycott the government if Maliki goes ahead with Thursday's meeting."
The New York Times says a draft report by the Iraq Study Group, per officials who have seen it, âĨŖurges an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawalâĨ¦ While the diplomatic strategy appears likely to be acceptedâĨ¦ members of the commission and outsiders involved in its work said they expected a potentially divisive debate about timetables for beginning an American withdrawal.âĨŗ
The Wall Street Journal rounds up the various proposals floating out there for what course to pursue.
The AP pointed out yesterday that the US involvement in Iraq has now exceeded the amount of time the United States was involved in World War II.