This morning, in a bid to thwart attacks from a growing insurgency, Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer officially transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government. The move, which took place behind closed doors in the heavily-guarded "Green Zone," comes two days before the scheduled June 30 date. While the early handover may help the Bush administration's appeal for NATO support at the ongoing summit in Istanbul, it does not change the reality on the ground – Iraq's newly-sovereign government is beset by a growing insurgency, faced with enormous political challenges, and tasked with taking over the management of a tumultuous transition.

With a 138,000 man military force still in place and enormous political influence over the new government, the United States will continue to bear responsibility for Iraq's success or failure over the coming 18 months. The Center for American Progress this morning released its latest in a series of reports on the transition, "Iraq After June 30: A Strategy for Progress," which outlines the clear and deliberate steps the Bush administration should take to increase the chances of success in Iraq and shore up declining support at home.

Read the entire American Progress report, "Iraq After June 30: A Strategy for Progress."

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