Washington, June 24 : A Government Accountability Office report has said that the Bush Administration's plan for a stable Iraq lacks a strategic framework and is out of touch with the realities on the ground.
Suggesting that the plan contains serious flaws in its operational guidelines, the newly declassified data shows broader progress in Iraq are either misleading or simply incorrect.
Administration figures, according to the report, broadly overstate gains in some categories, including the readiness of the Iraqi Army, electricity production and how much money Iraq is spending on its reconstruction.
And the security gains themselves rest in large part not on broad-scale advances in political and social reconciliation and a functioning Iraqi government, but on a few specific advances that remain fragile, the New York Times quotes the report as saying.
The relatively calm period rests mostly on the American troop increase, a shaky cease-fire declared by militias loyal to the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and an American-led program to pay former insurgents to help keep the peace, the report says.
"Clearly there are substantial changes in the security situation on the ground," said Nathan Freier, a retired Army officer who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2007 and is now a senior fellow in the international security program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The administration prefers to focus on those improvements, Freier said. But the accountability office report, which Freier read on Monday, and his own observations in Iraq contain a different message, he said.
"Iraq remains a mixed bag and will continue to do so in perpetuity, to be quite honest," he added.