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Excerpts of GAO report on Iraq

From NBC's Ken Strickland
It was leaked to the Washington Post late last week, but now NBC News has obtained a summary of the Government Accountability Office report assessing the Iraqi government's progress toward meeting 18 benchmarks laid out by Congress. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds hearing on the report today at 2:00 pm ET. Here are some excerpts:

"The Iraqi government met 3, partially met 4, and did not meet 11 of its 18 benchmarks. Overall, key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high, and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion in reconstruction funds. These results do not diminish the courageous efforts of coalition forces and progress that has been made in several areas, including Anbar Province."
 
"The Iraqi government met one of eight legislative benchmarks: the rights of minority political parties in Iraq's legislature are protected. The government has not enacted legislation on de-Ba'athification, oil revenue sharing, provincial elections, amnesty, and militia disarmament."

"It is unclear whether sectarian violence in Iraq has decreased -- a key security benchmark -- since it is difficult to measure whether the perpetrators' intents were sectarian in nature, and other measures of population security show differing trends."

"As the Congress considers the way forward in Iraq, it should balance the achievement of the 18 Iraqi benchmarks with military progress and with homeland security goals, foreign policy goals, and other goals of the United States."