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Differing with Military, U.S. Inspector General Says Iraq More Dangerous Than A Year Ago

Contradicting statements from the U.S. military, the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction says Iraq is more dangerous now than it was one year ago. Although the U.S. led coalition is committed to withdrawing the last of its 47,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year, a debate rages over whether the Iraqis are capable of dealing with security issues without the help of the foreign military. According to Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen, “Iraq remains an extraordinary dangerous place to work. It is less safe, in my opinion, than 12 months ago.” 15 U.S. soldiers died in June, the highest death toll in two years, and a spate of killings of Iraqi officials is continuing with no let-up in sight. Bowen was critical of the U.S. military for understating the level of instability in Iraq.