San Francisco – A draft report by the Government Accountability Office has found that eight months into President Bush’s “surge,” the Iraqi government has failed to meet most of the political benchmarks set before it. The following is the statement of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.):
“The purpose of the surge was to provide the necessary security so that the Iraqi government could move ahead to secure the infrastructure, protect the people, and meet the benchmarks.
But it is clear that violence against civilians remains high, and the capabilities of the Iraqi army have not improved.
This report also shows that the Iraqis have failed to deliver on most of the 18 benchmarks:
- The Iraqi government has failed to meet 13 benchmarks – including major political action on an oil law, constitutional reform, and de-Baathification;
- Only two benchmarks have been “partially met” – formation of governmental regions; and allocating and spending $10 billion on reconstruction; and
- Only three benchmarks have been met – protecting the rights of minority parties in the Iraqi legislature; establishing joint security stations; and establishing committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
So, it is clear that the Iraqi government is not making the difficult decisions required to achieve political accommodation and bring the violence to an end.
This report gives a clear-eyed view of the facts on the ground in Iraq, eight months into the surge. It is time to change course in Iraq.”