Lies, Damn Lies, and Pentagon Statistics

With the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war fast approaching, a report released by the Government Accountability Office last week finds that the Bush administration still lacks clear metrics for success in developing Iraq’s security forces. In essence, the report tells us that the United States is continuing to unconditionally spend billions of dollars on a security assistance program without having a clear idea of what return it is getting for its investment.

This important item got lost in the wave of news about the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, the Annapolis Middle East peace conference, and the announcement that the Bush administration and Iraq’s government signed a declaration of principles that could pave the wave for a sizable US troop presence in Iraq for years to come. But US leaders need to shift their focus and start asking tough questions.

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