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Bush Plan Calls For Iraqi Government To Meet Goals January 8, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Politics, US News, White House.
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NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–U.S. President George W. Bush’s new Iraq policy will establish a series of goals that the Iraqi government will be expected to meet to try to ease sectarian tensions and stabilize the country politically and economically, senior administration officials said Sunday, The New York Times reported in its Monday editions.

Among these “benchmarks” are steps that would draw more Sunnis into the political process, finalize a long-delayed measure on the distribution of oil revenue and ease the government’s policy toward former Baath Party members, the officials said, according to the Times report.

Without saying what the specific penalties for failing to achieve the goals would be, U.S. officials insisted that they intended to hold the Iraqis to a realistic timetable for action, but the U.S. and Iraqis have agreed on many of the objectives before, only to fall considerably short, the paper added.

One important theme of the new Iraqi strategy will be encouraging the Iraqi government to spend more on projects and programs in Sunni areas. Most of the funds allocated for the Sunni-dominated Anbar Province in western Iraq have never actually been expended. That has encouraged opposition to the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad and handicapped the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency efforts in the province, the Times reports.

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