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Security Politics

The Financial Times says of Bush's Iraq meetings this week, "Mr Bush would not receive formal reports during the meetings and the White House did not expect to publish a final review." 

Iraq's president said yesterday that the US plan to train Iraqi security forces has been a failure and that the recommendation to increase the number of US advisors helping the Iraqi army is a threat to the country's sovereignty.  The New York Times says the remarks "amounted to an extraordinarily harsh denunciation of a central American strategy in Iraq and challenged a major recommendation by the Iraq Study Group in Washington." 

USA Today says outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will include "a tough critique of [Bush's] policies" in his farewell address today.  Annan "will accuse the administration of trying to secure the United States from terrorism in part by dominating other nations through force, committing what he termed human rights abuses and taking military action without broad international support...  In the 61-year history of the U.N., no secretary-general has ended his tenure by criticizing U.S. policies so sharply, said Stanley Meisler, a historian of the United Nations." 

The Boston Globe front-pages a potential looming issue for Bush: "Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled their homeland are likely to seek refugee status in the United States, humanitarian groups said, putting intense pressure on the Bush administration to reexamine a policy that authorizes only 500 Iraqis to be resettled here next year...  Ellen Sauerbrey, assistant secretary of state for refugees and migration, said that while the Bush administration does not think resettlement is needed for most refugees, its policy could rapidly change." 

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz says the recent stream of leaks about Iraq policy and proposals has made clear "that the private doubts of top officials are closer to the media's dark portrait of the war than to the 'absolutely, we're winning' rhetoric of President Bush.  That is especially noteworthy in light of all the criticism that administration officials have heaped on correspondents in Iraq for focusing too heavily on violence and ignoring signs of progress."