WASHINGTON -- Some U.S. defense officials say officers must be apolitical and accountable to retain the public's trust in military assessments of the war in Iraq.
The next major assessment is due in March and top U.S. military leaders want to avoid a repeat of September's report, which focused on the views of the top commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
"This is not Dave Petraeus' war. This is George Bush's war," a senior defense official told the Times, emphasizing the military carries out the decisions made by political leaders.
The March assessment will contain the Bush administration's latest decision about the size of the U.S. force in Iraq, and some defense officials say they believe highlighting the views of one general risks politicizing the military and undermining the public's faith military officials will be honest in their assessment, the Times reported.
A Gallup poll released in June found 69 percent of the U.S. public had confidence in the military, down from 82 percent in 2003.
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