Thursday, September 6, 2007

Iraq revisited

The General Accounting Office, the *ahem* non-partisan branch of Congress, has released a study of 18 benchmarks that are being used to grade the progress in Iraq. Three of the benchmarks are currently being met.

1. Committees established that support political, media, and economic aspects of the security plan.

2. Thirty-two of 34 planned joint security stations are established in Baghdad.

3. Rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi Legislature are protected.

Not bad. Those are important first steps. Four have been partially met.

1. Law passed on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions, to be implemented in 2008.

2. Three Iraqi brigades to support operations are trained, but effectiveness is limited.

3. Security forces are established, but militias have infiltrated them.

4. $10 billion in Iraqi revenue has been allocated, but is unlikely to be spent on reconstruction projects.

Ok, so the rubber isn't hitting the road, but maybe it just needs a little bit of a tune-up.

11 of those benchmarks are not being met. Not sure about my math, but I'm pretty sure that those marks won't get you a "C" in college, not even at Yale.
1. Establish a Constitutional Review Committee.

2. Provide de-Ba'athification legislation.

3. Ensure equitable distribution of oil revenues.

4. Establish an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.

5. Establish amnesty legislation.

6. Create a militia disarmament program.

7. Increase the number of Iraqi security units capable of operating independently.

8. Stop Iraq's political authorities from undermining Iraqi security forces.

9. Have Iraqi commanders make tactical and operational decisions in the pursuit of extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias.

10. Have Iraqi security forces provide even-handed enforcement of the law.

11. Reduce the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminate militia control of local security.

Ok, this isn't exactly news. This has been the problem the whole time. Iraq needs to stand on its own, the question is whether or not we can give them the help that they need? Speaking of benchmarks, doesn't anyone care if children can get to school safely or that citizens of Iraq can get a fair trial?

That seems to be the obvious question. What happens if we leave? Do Iran and Syria gain more influence in Iraq if we leave? Does that further destabilize the region?

1 comment:

michael said...

They forgot a successful benchmark, the profit margins of Halliburton.