Larsen Statement on GAO Assessment of the Iraqi Government's Record of Performance

Sep 4, 2007

September 4, 2007

Washington, D.C. - The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing today to hear Comptroller General David Walker’s assessment of the Iraqi Government’s record of performance. Walker is head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). During the next week, the House Armed Services Committee will hold four hearings examining Iraq policy.  House Armed Services Committee member U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement today:

“Our servicemen and women are working hard in Iraq, and their work is showing some results. The President has tried to downplay the challenges they face. But the obstacles in Iraq aren’t hurdles, they’re high jumps.

“According to the latest report from the independent GAO, the Iraqi government has failed to meet 11 of 18 required benchmarks for political and military progress. On the core issues that must be resolved to bring about real political progress, the government of Iraq has met only one of eight benchmarks.

 “As we assess the current situation in Iraq, let’s not forget that almost all of the benchmarks used by the GAO were proposed by the Iraqi government and endorsed by President Bush himself.

“Furthermore, President Bush’s surge of additional U.S. troops in Iraq has failed to slow violence against Iraqi civilians. In fact, the number of Iraqis fleeing violence has actually increased as more Iraqi civilians leave their homes and neighborhoods in search of safety.

“To date, the progress reports that Congress has requested -- including this GAO report and the latest National Intelligence Estimate -- have failed to support the Administration’s argument that the surge is working.”