President Bush is expected to issue a report as early as Thursday, asserting that the Iraqi government has made "satisfactory" progress on nearly half of the political and military goals set by Congress.

In May, Congress authorized continued funding for the Iraq war with the provision that the administration certify by July 15 and again on September 15 that the Iraqis are making progress toward certain benchmarks.

Administration officials said that the assessment will say there has been progress on eight of the 18 benchmarks, mostly related to military issues. But The Washington Post says there was insufficient progress on key benchmarks related to political reconciliation.

The administration has been urging Congress to allow more time for troops in Iraq to succeed, noting the last of the nearly 30,000 troops added since January are only now settling in.

Wednesday, Senator Olympia Snowe became the latest in a growing number of Republican lawmakers to call for a change in President Bush's strategy in Iraq. Other Republicans who have called on the president to change his war strategy include Richard Lugar, George Voinovich, and Pete Domenici.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said he hopes the growing Republican opposition to the war will force a strategy change in Iraq.


Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.