U.S. and Iraqi forces control only a fraction of Baghdad, despite the three-month-old troop surge. An internal assessment leaked to the Times found two thirds of the city's neighborhoods are still in open rebellion, although surge architects planned to have Baghdad under control by July. “We were way too optimistic,” says a senior officer.
Officials blame the continuing chaos on Iraqi troops and police, who were expected to take over basic security in the city. Troops have also been diverted to provinces outside Baghdad to take care of spiralling violence there. “This was always going to be conditions-driven,” explains a senior ground commander. (Read more Baghdad stories.)