Author of secret Iraq report declares Iraqi government ‘in collapse’

By John Byrne

State Department official says political solution ‘hopeless’

The confidential version of Congress’ Congressional Research Report on Iraq declares that Iraq’s government is “in collapse,” according to the New York Daily News‘ James Meek, who first acquired the report.

The report was completed Aug. 15 for the House and Senate, as President Bush geared up for a fresh battle with Congress over his intent to ‘stay the course.’

RAW STORY acquired a copy of the report from the Daily News. It can be read here in the original (PDF).

“My assessment is that because of the number and breadth of parties boycotting the cabinet, the Iraqi government is in essential collapse,” Kenneth Katzman, the author of the report, said, according to Meek. “That argues against any real prospects for political reconciliation.”

Without a political infrastructure in Iraq, any military progress would be short-lived, he added.

As a whole, the 62-page report is typical of those conducted by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan arm of Congress tasked with investigating topics of interest to members. The report expounds on myriad aspects of Iraq’s political, economic and security challenges.

Katzman questions the troop surge in the report.

“I would even question the military progress,” he also declared.

A top diplomat — who remained unnamed — told Meek any political solution to the war is now “hopeless.”

“I would agree with that,” Katzman said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to stave off the collapse of his government while fending off rivals at a time when the country has already spun out of control.

The report said al-Maliki’s government was “collapsing.”

Read Meek’s full piece here or the full report to Congress here.