$3,816 Per Second

July 12, 2007
Blog
This week, the Bush Administration began to lower expectations for the Iraqi progress report on 18 political, economic, and military benchmarks required by Congress by July 15th. The report is expected to be released today. While our troops have performed heroically in Iraq, the Administration is conceding violence remains high, the Iraqi government has failed to meet any of the benchmarks endorsed by the President in January, and political reconciliation is non-existent.

Yesterday, the National Security Network released a report entitled "Measuring the Benchmarks: An Interim report". They report:

Since the President announced his "surge" policy, more than 25,000 troops have been sent to Iraq, approximately 600 have been killed and more than 3,000 have been wounded. Meanwhile, Americans are now spending $10 billion per month on the war.

Unfortunately, this investment has yielded no real progress. The President's policies have failed to bring security to Iraq. The country remains mired in multiple civil wars with Sunnis fighting Shi'a, Sunnis fighting each other in Anbar and Diyala, Shi'a fighting each other in the South, and Kurds fighting Sunnis around Kirkuk and Mosul. Iraqi Security Forces, who are supposed to be taking on greater responsibilities, cannot be trusted to enforce the law fairly, and all too often turn on American troops or take part in sectarian violence. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is teetering on the verge of collapse. One third of the Cabinet, including the major Sunni party as well as the party of Muqtada Al Sadr, is currently boycotting the government. Without the participation of these groups there can be no meaningful progress on any of the key political benchmarks including the oil law, de-Baathification, or amending the constitution.

The President's "surge" has failed to bring about stability or political reconciliation. The chances of a dramatic shift that might change the situation are extremely unlikely.

In addition, since the President's escalation began, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service reports the cost of war is increasing to $10 billion per month in Iraq:

Chart showin the Cost of the War In Iraq

The escalation strategy has failed before and is failing now. In the face of mounting criticism from military leaders, experts, bipartisan members of Congress and the American people, the President continues to ask us to wait, be patient, give the "surge" a chance to work. This afternoon, the House will be voting on the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act - giving all Members the opportunity to heed the wishes of the American people, who want to wind down this war and bring our troops home.