U.S. Spy Chief: Iraq Living Up to Promises, So Far

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/7626843/7626844" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

U.S. spy chief Mike McConnell says that so far, Iraq's government is living up to its commitment to try to turn around the security situation there. But, McConnell added, there's still a long way to go before Iraqi security forces will be able to control the country.

McConnell testified this morning along with other U.S. intelligence leaders, before the Senate Armed Services committee.

He also said that he believes Iran's top leaders are aware that Iranian weapons have been supplied to Iraqi Shiites. "We don't have direct evidence," McConnell said. "but I would phrase it as probable."

Still, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Gen. Maples said that there is evidence of progress in Iraq. He pointed to the appointment of new Iraqi commander General Abboud Gambar as an example, saying that "he is not showing a sectarian bias in his approach to the command."

Maples said the military is still in the early stages of what he called the Baghdad security plan, adding, "We're in transition right now." A few minutes later, Admiral McConnell chimed in with this view of Iraq's security forces.

"The way I would assess it is they are better today than they were a year ago," McConnell said, "but they're still not where we need them to be."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.