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Iraq

The Washington Post: "Iraq's army, despite measurable progress, will be unable to take over internal security from U.S. forces in the next 12 to 18 months and 'cannot yet meaningfully contribute to denying terrorists safe haven,' according to a report on the Iraqi security forces published today… The assessment by the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq is one of several independent progress reports ordered by Congress for delivery before the administration presents its own scorecard next week. Members of the 20-member group, headed by retired Marine Gen. James Jones, traveled throughout Iraq over the summer and met with hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi officials as well as leading nongovernmental experts on the Iraqi forces. Jones will present the 152-page document … in testimony today before the Senate and House Armed Services committees."

The Post also examines whether the violence has actually decreased in Iraq.

The New York Times says "Senate Democratic leaders are showing a new openness to compromise as they try to attract Republican support for forcing at least modest troop withdrawals in the coming months… [S]enior Democrats now say they are willing to rethink their push to establish a withdrawal deadline of next spring if doing so will attract the 60 Senate votes needed to prevail."