RealNews

White House to Overhaul Iraq and Afghan Missions

The White House has ordered a major reorganization of American efforts to quell violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and to speed the reconstruction of both countries, according to senior administration officials. The new effort includes the creation of an “Iraq Stabilization Group,” which will be run by the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. The decision to create the new group, five months after Mr. Bush declared the end of active combat in Iraq, appears part of an effort to assert more direct White House control over how Washington coordinates its efforts to fight terrorism, develop political structures and encourage economic development in the two countries. It comes at a time when surveys show Americans are less confident of Mr. Bush’s foreign policy skills than at any time since the terrorist attacks two years ago. At the same time, Congress is using President Bush’s request for $87 billion to question the administration’s failure to anticipate the violence in Iraq and the obstacles to reconstruction. “This puts accountability right into the White House,” a senior administration official said. Full Story

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