As I see them as follows augmenting based on White House assessment of SEP 2007 but updated for the happenings of the last few months:
(i) Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.
(ii) Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification reform.
Law passed by Iraqi Parliament. Implementation follows in budget.
(iii) Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to 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, Shi’a Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.
Law passed by Iraqi Parliament. Implemented in budget.
(iv) Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions.
(v) Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.
Laws passed by Iraqi Parliament, elections scheduled.
(vi) Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.
Law passed by Iraqi Parliament. Implementation follows in budget.
(vii) 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.
With the recent progress in laws passed on de-Ba'athification, elections, autonomy and amnesty, the Iraqi Parliament has this to do next. With militias now being shifted into Concerned Local Citizens groups and those being processed to ensure that insurgents and criminals are not present, this is moving well on the non-legislative areas. Final agreements will be done in accordance with new Iraqi laws, and many groups have processed through into regular Army and Police Forces or will become Provincial or Local police forces. Final and official laws need to be drafted and implemented, but the framework is now present and working for that to happen.
(viii) Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
Baghdad is 75% secured fully with the remaining portions partially secured. All local governments are in agreement on the need to secure those areas and progress continues on the rest. Necessary mechanisms are in place and agreed-upon for this to happen. Time to build infrastructure is in a timeframe of years, not months or weeks, which includes the standing up of Concerned Local Citizens and processing those to Army or Police (local, city, provincial). The legal infrastructure is in place for this to happen and it is proceeding.
(ix) Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.
(x) 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.
Iraqi units will take years to build up a logistics system and NCO corps that is reliable, as well as Officer Corps that has necessary breadth, depth and experience in operations. Currently the bulk of Iraqi forces now are in a self-determining mode with logistical assist from the US and operation assistance as needed.
An Iraqi Air Force is standing up with cargo aircraft and trained pilots. It is currently awaiting necessary COIN aircraft for flexibility in security operations to reduce dependence upon Coalition forces.
(xi) Ensuring that Iraqi Security Forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law.
Currently Iraqi Security Forces (local, provincial and national) are going through different stages of turn-over via Coalition readiness teams. As different parts of Iraq are in need of different levels of oversight and assistance, this will continue to be an uneven metric for at least two more years. Already a number of local police operations are now done indigenously, with only overwatch by Coalition transition teams and are effectively self-sustaining.
(xii) Ensuring that, as President Bush quoted Prime Minister Maliki as saying, “the Baghdad Security Plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation.”
With the de-Ba'athification laws and amnesty laws, all of those still armed and attacking in Baghdad are either insurgents, criminals or both. They are targeted equally and effectively by the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Security Forces without discrimination. Smaller pockets of outlaws are still being identified as part of the over-all security plan and are being eliminated either via kinetic or non-kinetic operations.
(xiv) Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.
(xv) Increasing the number of Iraqi Security Forces units capable of operating independently.
While there will be a need to continue recruitment and training, the number, quality and capability of all Iraqi Security Forces is increasing. The Inspector General system is in place and operating, with numerous insurgents and law breakers within the Security Forces having been identified, arrested and prosecuted.
(xvi) Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.
Iraq currently has a large variety and number of political parties and they all have access to the election process and have their rights protected.
(xvii) Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.
With increased oil revenue the Iraqi Government is now delivering the bulk of money for reconstruction projects and they are being implemented in an even-handed way. Iraqi spending now far outweighs Coalition contributions and the greatest need is in oversight and accountability of funding for Iraqi funds spent in Iraq. The Coalition is working with the Iraqi government to ensure that proper accounting measures are put into place to adhere to Iraqi laws in this area.
(xviii) Ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the ISF.
The Inspectors General system across the Iraqi government is still being stood up. Those pertaining to the Iraqi Army and Security Forces are moving quickly and effectively to find and root out corruption and insurgents, along with criminal elements that find their way inside the Security Forces. This will continue to be a work in progress, but the number and quality of investigations and prosecutions with convictions indicates a working system is being created and implemented.
As I see it there are 5 completed areas of legislation that have been addressed by the Iraqi Parliament. The other 13 areas are in various stages of progress, but all indications show that plans, implementation and accountability are in place to properly scale each for Iraq.
The Democratic Party coming into power in 2006 had set 6 benchmarks for themselves and have not accomplished a single one, with the first being the most important:
1) Honest Leadership and Open Government
Iraq is, apparently, doing much better with two major ethnicities and a host of minor ones, tribal governments, multiple parties, two major religious sects and a host of minor ones, and having to work their way out of decades of dictatorship and come to means to work things out according the rule of law inside their Nation.
The US Congress can't find anyone that will actually lead it in an honest fashion nor promulgate openness in appropriations, oversight, or even keep to its Oath of Office. Unlike Iraq, the US Congress cannot even pass a budget on time nor pass any major legislation with regards to US security.
It is a failure.
Perhaps they should all retreat over the horizon to Antarctica and 'chill out' in an environment that encourages things to move faster than they do as racing against glaciers just might be more their speed of things. But that just might require them to get off of their legislative butts for something more than pontification and holding hearings on steroids in professional sports. Or anything to do with professional sports, really, as they are the ones that Authorized the Use of Force in Iraq.
A more frivolous government I cannot name.
And the only ones more closed and dishonest are dictatorships and Communist.
Thank you for all of those wanting benchmarks! You are showing Iraqis to be better at this 'democracy' concept than the US. And how inadequate those who called for them are.