From Iraq—Some Good, Some Bad:

Senior Senators from the Armed Services Committee believe there is positive military progress in Iraq, but they cannot say the same for the political element of the Administration’s new strategy. In a joint statement, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), committee chairman, and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), former chairman, said of the military aspects “appear t have produced some credible and positive results.” The two Senators have just returned from a trip to the region, where they met with senior US officials and members of the Iraqi government. They expressed concern about a lack of experience among Iraqi military leaders and “critical military capabilities” needed for them to act independently, citing particular problems with logistics, including a US bureaucracy that has hindered delivery of equipment bought with Iraqi funds. The US military surge, they say, has provided some opportunity for Iraqi politicians to make necessary political compromises, but Levin and Warner say, “We are not optimistic about the prospects for those compromises.” And, the Iraqi officials they talked with expressed “apprehension” about the current government’s ability “to shed its sectarian biases.”