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Thread: GAO Report - Securing, Stabilizing, and Rebuilding Iraq

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Report Finds Little Progress on Iraq Goals

    Report Finds Little Progress on Iraq Goals - Washington Post, 30 Aug.
    Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress, according to a draft of a Government Accountability Office report. The document questions whether some aspects of a more positive assessment by the White House last month adequately reflected the range of views the GAO found within the administration.

    The strikingly negative GAO draft, which will be delivered to Congress in final form on Tuesday, comes as the White House prepares to deliver its own new benchmark report in the second week of September, along with congressional testimony from Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. They are expected to describe significant security improvements and offer at least some promise for political reconciliation in Iraq.

    The draft provides a stark assessment of the tactical effects of the current U.S.-led counteroffensive to secure Baghdad. "While the Baghdad security plan was intended to reduce sectarian violence, U.S. agencies differ on whether such violence has been reduced," it states. While there have been fewer attacks against U.S. forces, it notes, the number of attacks against Iraqi civilians remains unchanged. It also finds that "the capabilities of Iraqi security forces have not improved."

    "Overall," the report concludes, "key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds," as promised ...


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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default GAO Report - Securing, Stabilizing, and Rebuilding Iraq

    Iraqi Government Has Not Met Most Legislative, Security, and Economic Benchmarks - full report (18 pg. PDF).

    The benchmarks were derived from commitments first articulated by the Iraqi government in June 2006.

    The Iraqi government met 3, partially met 4, and did not meet 11 of its 18 benchmarks. Overall, key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend
    $10 billion in reconstruction funds. These results do not diminish the courageous efforts of coalition forces and progress that has been made in several areas, including Anbar Province ...

    The most interesting graph is pg. 11, which shows MNF-Iraq's data for enemy-initiated attacks over time. I wonder if there is a severe undercount going on here of attacks on Iraqi civilians --- according to MNF-Iraq, the vast majority of enemy-initiated attacks are still on coalition forces.
    Last edited by tequila; 09-05-2007 at 08:53 AM.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Military officials in Iraq fault GAO report - Washington Post, 5 Sep.

    A bleak portrait of the political and security situation in Iraq released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office sparked sharp protests from the top U.S. military command in Baghdad, whose officials described it as flawed and "factually incorrect."

    The controversy followed last-minute changes made in the final draft of the report after the Defense Department maintained that its conclusions were too harsh and insisted that some of the information it contained -- such as the extent of a fall in the number of Iraqi army units capable of operating without U.S. assistance -- should not appear in the final, unclassified version.

    The GAO rejected several changes proposed by the Pentagon and concluded that Iraq had failed to meet all but two of nine security goals Congress had set as part of a list of 18 benchmarks of progress. But grades for two of the seven unmet security benchmarks -- the elimination of havens for militia forces and the deployment of three Iraqi army brigades to assist the U.S. security plan in Baghdad -- were recast to reflect partial progress. Two other benchmarks, one political and one economic, were also described as "partially met ..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    That's not the report - that's the transcript (prepared statement) of related testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations given on 4 Sep 07. Its basically a summary of the full report, which is a 100 page pdf:

    Securing, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq: Iraqi Government Has Not Met Most Legislative, Security, and Economic Benchmarks

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    CSIS, 17 Dec 07: Dollars and Bullets: The Role of US Aid in a Strategy for Iraq
    The US is now caught in the dilemma of partial success. Failure in Iraq is easy to deal with; it means quick withdrawal. Full and rapid success is easy to plan for and it is easy to create programs and budgets that reinforce what already exists. Al Qa’ida’s reversals of the last eight months, however, have created a very different situation.

    This paper suggests that US aid must be a critical part of any US effort to build on the success achieved to date, and to deal with the problems that remain. Specifically, it makes four major suggestions:

    - Aid must be tailored to act as a major incentive for security and political accommodation.

    - All aid efforts must be integrated into a cohesive plan, program, and budget and clearly tied to the Joint Campaign Plan.

    - US aid will be needed for at least 3-5 years to come, and well into the next Administration. Plans are needed that provide consistent efforts over time.

    - Current aid efforts lack transparency and meaningful measures of effectiveness, and are not explained or justified in terms credible enough to win lasting support from the Congress, American people, and outside analysts and media. Sustaining the necessary effort requires both transparency and depth.....
    Complete 21 page paper at the link.

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