The essential political goals set by the Iraqi administration are concerning governance and reconciliation to the changed circumstances. Some of these goals are discussed in succeeding paragraphs.Major effort needs to be dovetailed to build national reconciliation through dialogues and consensus between all sectarian factions.Another important task at hand would be to mend the socially and politically divided factions through dialogue and confidence building measures. This would require strengthening of all the democratic institutions of the country and uphold the rule of law.To gain confidence, it is imperative to improve infrastructure and living conditions of all Iraqis and put the country on a path of peace and security. Most importantly, there is requirement to firmly deal with the challenges of insurgency, crime, sectarian violence and foreign terror outfits inciting a civil war in the region. Also on the anvil is a critical review of anti-terror and de-Ba'athifiation legislation.While the aim of the democratically elected government is to bring back the country from its present quagmire to peace and security, these good intentions continue to be hampered due to adverse security conditions. The problem also lies in credible representation in governance. The present government is a representative form of government, but Sunni elements supported by external insurgents and terrorist organisations have considerable say in many regions, especially so in Baghdad, Ninewa, Salahuddin, Anbar, Diyala and Basra. Over 81% of attacks were reported in these provinces during past few years.
The terrorist organisations still intimidate vulnerable sections of the society to participate in violent acts against civilians and security forces, attempt to create a civil war like condition, attack country's infrastructure and oil assets etc.
Another problem area has been cooperation with multi-national (mainly US) forces, which have been likened by many as occupation forces rather than friendly forces. This aspect is also exploited by insurgents to incite civilian Iraqis to support their cause willingly or unwillingly.
Other causes of serious concern remain the ever mounting loss of civilian lives, sense of uncertainty, high levels of sectarian violence and certain serious law and order situations.
Implications of US Long Term Deployment or Early Withdrawal
A recent US General Accountability Office report stated that the Iraqi government had failed to meet 11 of the 18 benchmarks established by the US regarding authorisation of troop surge recently. The Iraqi government had fully met only three of the legislative, security and economic benchmarks. (Easley, 2007)
Only one legislative benchmark regarding rights of minority parties has been met, while only two benchmarks in area of security have been achieved. The government is yet to overcome militia control in certain regions; however there is reduced political interference in military operations, improvement in military capability to conduct independent operations and reduced political claims over military achievements. Economically, only partial implementation of utilisation of funds provided for infrastructural development has been achieved.
While the report definitely falls short of expectations, there has been considerable progress in many areas which could not have been possible two years back. Thus, withdrawal of coalition forces at this stage would again reverse these positive developments undesirably. Perhaps, the need of