Friday, September 7

Congress: Get It in Writing

From Inside the Ringblog

A major political event unfolding Monday will be the report to President Bush by Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker.

A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq. "There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them by testimony," the officer said.

The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus' opening statement to Congress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use in explaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the past several months.

That testimony will follow the meeting of the president, Gen. Petraeus and Mr. Crocker at the White House.

Gen. Petraeus is expected to tell the president the surge is working but that more work is needed. He is not expected to recommend withdrawing significant numbers of U.S. troops, as the U.S. troop presence is still needed to bolster the slowly growing Iraqi security forces' capabilities.

The picture presented by Mr. Crocker will be critical of the new Iraqi government for not doing more to foster political stability.

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