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Iraq’s Political Transition Not Meeting Benchmarks

Read the report: Iraq’s Political Transition After the Surge

The 2007 supplemental appropriation bill conditioned a portion of the Economic Support Funds planned for Iraq on progress in meeting 18 political and security benchmarks. More than a year later, Iraq’s leaders have met less than one third of these benchmarks.

Other key issues not included in the benchmarks but central to achieving power-sharing deals necessary to stabilize Iraq remain unresolved, including addressing the status of the more than 4 million Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. As outlined in our recent report, “Iraq’s Political Transition After the Surge,” the 2007-08 surge of U.S. troops achieved important gains in reducing violence in Iraq. But it has not delivered on its central objective: achieving a sustainable power consolidation among Iraq’s different political forces.