Iraq benchmarks report card

Iraq’s political situation continues to be a disaster. All our troops are there to keep things as stable as they can so Iraq’s government can get itself together . . . but the government simply isn’t doing so.

A year after President Bush set out his benchmarks for Iraq, using them to justify a massive increase in troops and a prolonged U.S. presence, the Center for American Progress reports that just 3 of the 18 benchmarks have been met:

The purpose of the surge was to provide the “breathing space” for political reconciliation to occur. Yet over one year later, political progress has been scant, and what progress has been made is not durable. The Iraqis have not made the difficult political compromises necessary for national reconciliation, and an indefinite U.S. presence in the region will not inspire them to do so. Despite the best efforts of our military men and women in creating a temporary lull in violence, substantial advancement toward a sustainable and independent Iraq has not been made.

In order to motivate Iraq’s political leaders, the United States must set a date certain for withdrawal. Only then will the Iraqis make the difficult political compromises necessary for national reconciliation.

Indeed.

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