Democracy Arsenal

« A New Project from NSN | Main | The Security Premium »

July 02, 2008

NSN Daily Update - 7/2/08
Posted by The National Security Network

NSN Daily Update – 7/2/08
New Administration Report Conflicts with GAO Assessment and Again Paints Simplistic and Overly Rosy Picture of Iraq

The United States embassy in Baghdad released a report yesterday claiming that there has been “satisfactory progress” on 15 of the 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for Iraq.  But this is another in the Administration’s long history of releasing vague measures of progress that paint an overly rosy picture of the situation in Iraq.  Meanwhile, the GAO recently concluded that while a number of legislative benchmarks have been passed by the Iraqi Parliament, in many cases they have not achieved their intended goals or have not been implemented at all.  The security situation in Iraq has improved but serious political issues must still be solved if there is to be long-term stability 

The Administration continues to use vague measures of progress in Iraq to paint a rosy picture.  Since the evaluations of the “benchmarks” of progress in Iraq began last year, the Bush Administration has consistently used unclear monikers, “satisfactory progress” and “unsatisfactory progress.”  Last September, the Administration’s benchmark report said 13 benchmarks were reported as either satisfactory or partially satisfactory.  The GAO’s report by contrast found that only 3 of the 18 benchmarks had been met.  Some benchmarks claimed as “satisfactory” by the Administration only demonstrated minimal levels of progress, not achievement, while others failed to accomplish the intended purpose of the specific measurement.  Today, the Bush Administration continues to use the same vague qualifications to evaluate progress in Iraq.  [NSN Benchmark Assessment Report, 9/14/08.  GAO, 9/4/08]

Key legislation has been passed but it remains unimplemented, which is the much more important benchmark.  The Iraqi government has passed legislation on de-Ba’athification reform, amnesty, and provincial powers legislation after considerable debate and compromise among Iraq’s political blocs.  But it’s unclear that the intended outcomes of the laws can be achieved.  For example, in the case of the amnesty legislation only a very limited number of prisoners had been set free as of May 2008. Moreover, implementation of the de-Ba’athification law has stalled and may end up making it more difficult to bring Sunnis into the government instead of less.  [GAO, 6/08]

Key elements ‘critical’ for national reconciliation remain stalled.  Additionally, other legislation considered critical for national reconciliation has not been enacted.  The most important among these measures are laws that define the management of oil and gas resources, and provide for the disarmament of Iraq’s armed groups; both laws remain stalled.  Moreover, critical issues such as integrating the Sunni Sons of Iraq into the central government, holding free and fair provincial elections and solving the dispute over Kirkuk are all outstanding.  [GAO, 6/08.]

Quick Hits

Amidst Taliban resurgence and a revival of Islamic radical elements, 41 U.S. and coalition troops were killed in Afghanistan in June, making it the deadliest month since the 2001 U.S. led invasion. 

The “enhanced interrogation techniques” deployed at Guantanamo Bay appear to have been directly copied from Chinese Communist coercion techniques—which at the time the U.S. referred to as torture.

Iran’s foreign minister sees opportunity for new nuclear talks with the international community, further exacerbating a schism in Iran’s leadership between hardliners and more moderate elements in Tehran.

David Ignatius derides the Bush administration’s approach to dealing with Iran, saying that U.S. half steps mask indecisive policy

Meanwhile, Wendy Sherman has an LA Times Op-Ed pointing out that the successful diplomacy with North Korea over its nuclear program should put to rest the notion that that a willingness to talk with an enemy equates appeasement.

In Colombia, John McCain reiterated his support for the Colombian free trade agreement and urged the Colombian president to improve the country’s record on human rights.  One of his major fundraisers, Carl H. Linder, Jr., served of CEO of Chiquita Bananas who this week admitted to illegally funding the paramilitaries and agreed to pay a $25 million fine.

A new CNN poll has found that in the face of the Midwest floods, economic woes, and other domestic issues, American fear of terrorism is today less than any period since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference NSN Daily Update - 7/2/08:


I am so with you,rolex watch
luxury watch

I would like to say this should have been a huge story today, taking up almost all the political coverage. Especially considering that McCain in in Columbia and FARC hostages just happened to be released while he is there. But of course this is the first I've heard of it.

Known as replica chanel replica chanel
Los Angeles' "Ambassador of replica gucci replica gucci
Boogie Funk," D?m-Funk represents the citizens of the Funkmosphere. Headquartered in replica hermes replica hermes
the Leimert Park section of L.A., D?m (pronounced: dame) has been dedicated over the last few years to cultivating a musical renaissance replica louis vuitton replica louis vuitton
rooted in the early-'80s styles known discount handbags discount handbags
as Boogie, Modern designer handbags designer handbags
Soul and Electro-Funk.

Thanks for the post. This keeps me informed about the topic.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use