Monday, January 15, 2007

The Intangible Benchmarks - How Progress will Really be Measured

Negroponte, on the eve of surprisingly leaving the DNI post (confirmed just in April of 2005), lays out some ideas on what National Intelligence is using for benchmarks of cricital progress in Iraq:

  • Foremost is the ability of the Iraqi gov't to establish and nurture effective national institutions that are based on national rather than religious or ethnic interests; and within this context, the willingness of the security forces to pursue extremist elements of all kinds.
  • The extent to which the Shia feel sufficiently secure in their political position: despite their recent electoral victories and overall political ascendancy, the Shia at present remain deeply insecure about their hold on power. This insecurity is manifested in the Shia's refusal to make real concessions to the Sunnis on a range of issues...
  • The extent to which Arab Sunnis develop trust and participate in the new political order ...
  • The extent to divisions within the Shia and Sunni are addressed: profound intra-group divisions among the Shia and Sunnis complicate the situation, because no single leader can speak for or exert control over these groups.
  • The extent to which extremists - most notably al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) - are suppressed...
  • And lastly, the extent to which Iraq's neighbors can be persuaded to stop the flow of militants and munitions across their borders.

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