Michael Ware


TSR: "It ain't coming back."

Length: 3:08

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WOLF BLITZER: Right now there is serious concern Iraq is not seeing the kind of progress Americans desperately hope for. We're learning about a draft of a government audit that grades how well things are going. According to both "The Washington Post" and The Associated Press, the report concludes Iraq is failing to make positive advances on almost all of the measures of political and security progress.

Joining us now our correspondent in Baghdad, Michael Ware -- Michael, you've seen all the reports of this draft Government Accountability Report Office study which is going to suggest presumably that, what, 15 of the 18 so-called benchmarks are not -- have not yet been met. I don't know why people should be all that surprised given all the gloomy reporting that's coming from Iraq.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Wolf. I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel like Bill Murray halfway through the movie "Groundhog Day." I mean we've already seen a slew of these pessimistic and, to be honest, increasingly frank and realistic assessments of the situation on the ground. And we've still got another two and a half weeks of more reports to come.

I mean, surely the American public must slowly becoming aware at last that the mission here in Iraq is not working out anything like it was ever planned to. And it's not going to get better any time soon. Yes, there are some successes on the security side. But like everything, Wolf, they don't come without cost and we've discussed that many times.

And, honestly, on the political front, it's beyond dropping the ball. They have dropped it, lost it, it's gone into the bushes and they don't know where it is. It ain't coming back. So this tells us really nothing new. It's just slightly more pessimistic and realistic than what we've heard before and we've still got more to come.

BLITZER: Michael, what about next? What happens next? We're going to get all these reports coming in. As far as the day-to-day situation, I take it you don't see any significant change.

WARE: Well, this is the question one -- well, America has to ask itself: is it ready to perform the radical surgery that is necessary here in Iraq? Now, that's going to be on all number of fronts. But bottom line is, the Maliki government isn't working. I think by and large, that there's a consensus of opinion on that. So the question is what comes next?

What comes next, Wolf, is going to be ugly, one way or another. Essentially, America has to choose between the least bad of a host of terrible scenarios. So is America ready to do what is going to be required to reclaim some kind of preservation of U.S. interests and avoid complete and outright perception of defeat here in Iraq?

BLITZER: We'll continue this conversation, Michael, in the days to come. Thanks very much.

WARE: Thank you, Wolf.