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September 14, 2007 09:57 PM UTC

Iraq Benchmarks Lagging

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols


As The Associated Press reports:

The White House told Congress today that Iraqi leaders gained little new ground on key military and political goals, a discouraging assessment a day after President Bush said progress justifies a large continued U.S. military presence there.

The report underscored the difficulty of Bush’s argument that a continuing American sacrifice was creating space for Iraqi leaders to make gains on tamping down the sectarian fighting that leaves Iraq persistently fractured and violent.

The administration’s first required report on benchmarks, in July, showed the Iraqi government was making satisfactory progress toward meeting eight of 18 goals and unsatisfactory progress on eight others. Two others couldn’t be rated for performance.

Today’s follow-up report to Congress concluded Iraqis have done enough to move only one benchmark – allowing former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to hold government positions – from the unsatisfactory to satisfactory column.

That movement was due to a pact made last month among leading Iraqi politicians from all major sects. Iraqi officials have announced similar deals in the past only to have them fall apart.

Comments

One thought on “Iraq Benchmarks Lagging

  1. As the last two paragraphs indicate, Bush was only able to report one benchmark moving forward, and that was only because of a “gentleman’s handshake” agreement; no formal law has been passed rescinding the ban on Baathists in government positions, nor does it seem likely to happen.

    But to Bush, this is “enough progress to justify our continued presence” in Occupied Iraq.

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