Iraq benchmarks

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In 2007 the US government wanted to come up with a way so they can measure the Iraqi elected government's ability and power. The US government expected that the Iraqi government be self-sufficient and able to solve their own security problems. One way for doing this was establishing a benchmark for the Iraqi government to measure their progress toward peace and security in that country


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President George W. Bush outlined 18 benchmarks in 2007 that he said would be used to judge success in the Iraq War.


Reports and responses

GAO report in Sept. 2007

In early September 2007, the Government Accountability Office released its report on progress in Iraq, which stated that only three of eighteen benchmarks were met. Republican congressional leaders responded by trying to discredit the results, and the Democratic leadership tried to use the report as evidence of the flaws in Bush's Iraq policy.[1]

GOP House leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the report was flawed, and that it "really amounts to asking someone to kick an 80-yard field goal and criticizing them when they came up 20 or 25 yards short."[2] Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stated that the Petraeus report, expected to be released on September 15, was the only Iraq progress report that mattered. Both Boehner and McConnell had voted for the bill ([H.R. 2206]) that mandated the GAO report be written.[3][4]

Key votes

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: {{{Vote position 1}}}


"Approve the fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental appropriations bill funding the Iraq war through July, including a requirement for the president to report on Iraq's progress in meeting specific "benchmarks." May 10. (221-205)"

(Original scorecard available at:

The benchmarks

The benchmarks were most clearly established in H.R. 2206, a supplemental spending bill passed in May 2007.

The benchmarks, as laid out in 2206, are:

Benchmark Number Benchmark (H.R. 2206 version)[5] White House report (July 15, 2007)[6] GAO report (Sept. 4, 2007) [6]
1. Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the Constitutional review;
2. Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification;
3. Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of 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, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner;
4. Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions;
5. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission; provincial elections law; provincial council authorities; and a date for provincial elections;
6. Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty;
7. 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;
8. Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan;
9. Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations;
10. 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;
11. Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law;
12. Ensuring that, according to President Bush, Prime Minister Maliki said ``the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation;
13. Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security;
14. Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad;
15. Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently;
16. Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected;
17. Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis; and
18. Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the ISF.