We must bring the focus of the debate about Iraq back to Iraq and deliver a strong message to Iraq’s leaders that the cycle of dependence cannot continue indefinitely.  At this critical juncture of U.S. policy toward Iraq, the Iraq policy toward the U.S. seems disjointed, disconnected and disassociated. The level of progress on the benchmarks is debatable—what is undeniable is the fact that progress is needed on some of the most urgent issues to bring peace and stability in Iraq.

The Iraqi government has failed to enact a de-Ba’athification law, the Parliament has failed to enact a law on equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources and revenues, and they’ve failed to provide the three trained and ready brigades to support Baghdad operations, and the disarmament of the militias has not occurred. These are fundamental failures by a government that continues to expect the United States to invest in Iraq with our soldiers and our dollars and these failures are unacceptable. We can’t continue on this path and cycle of Iraqi dependence on the United States.