It looks like Washington has backed off slightly — and sanely — from the June 30 deadline in Iraq:
The new Iraqi interim government scheduled to take control on July 1 will have only “limited sovereignty” over the country and no authority over U.S. and coalition military forces already there, senior State and Defense officials told Congress this week.
In testimony before the Senate and the House Armed Services Committees, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman said the United States will operate under the transitional law approved by the Iraqi Governing Council and a resolution approved by the U.N. Security Council last October. Both those provisions give control of the country’s security to U.S. military commanders.
I’m all for turning over complete power to Baghdad (or devolve it to Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra) as soon as sanely possible. But with the current climate, it just makes no sense for Coalition commanders to be at the mercy of the whims of an untested government.
However, you know that isn’t how the story will be spun by Team Kerry — even though Kerry himself has said that the June 30 deadline is arbitrary and unreasonable.