White House Assesses Iraq Benchmarks

Congress required President Bush to submit an initial report to lawmakers assessing whether the Iraqi government has made satisfactory progress toward achieving the benchmarks set for it. Following is the assessment of progress described in the Bush administration's report:

Unsatisfactory

- Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification.

- Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.

- Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

- Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing evenhanded enforcement of the law.

- Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.

- Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces.


Unsatisfactory, But with Some Components of Progress

- Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.

- Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.


Satisfactory

- Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.

- Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semiautonomous regions.

- Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.

- Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.

- Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for outlaws, regardless of sectarian or political affiliation, as Bush says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to do.

- Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.

- Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.

- Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.


Too Early to Assess

- Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.

- Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq.

From The Associated Press

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