Sunday, July 03, 2005

Iraq: Metrics coming on July 11 

The leading purveyor of the slightly stale conventional wisdom, David "Bigfoot" Broder, has does a little reportage on Iraq:

President Bush is facing an early legal deadline to deliver what he has been most resistant to providing: a set of specific benchmarks for measuring progress toward military and political stability in Iraq.

Under a little-noticed provision of the defense spending bill passed by Congress in May, Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld has until July 11 to send Capitol Hill a "comprehensive set of performance indicators and measures of stability and security" two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

While public support for a pullout has grown, almost no one in Congress is advocating such a step.

What serious people are asking of the administration is a set of yardsticks by which the situation in Iraq can be realistically measured -- and accountability established for a strategy to reach those goals. That is something the president has refused to provide, beyond his cliched declaration that "the United States will stay as long as necessary -- and not one day longer."

It is hard to understand his resistance to this perfectly reasonable demand for a set of metrics by which all concerned -- Congress and the administration, service members and their families, and the general public -- could judge what is happening.
(via WaPo)

Yeah, well.

OK, so to Broder, "serious" means "someone like Joe Biden." And to anyone outside the kind of people Broder goes to dinner with, Bush's refusal to set metrics is entirely understandable.

Still, this is good news for the reality-based community.

Although the number I want to know about is 8.

As in, "What happened to the $8 billion dollars that Bush just 'lost'?"

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