The 18 benchmarks to gauge "success in Iraq" were drafted by Iraqi leaders, and inserted into Congressional bill H.R. 2206, U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007.
H.R. 2206 was passed by Congress in mid-May 2007, and signed into law by the President on May 25, 2007. (Also see Iraq War Statistics & Results, Updated.)
The 18 benchmarks were established to grade Iraqi government progress toward stability. Future U.S. funding of the Iraq War was to be contingent on Iraq's political leaders satisfying a sigificant number of the benchmarks.
In early Sept 2007, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was "on track to conclude that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks set to judge the Iraqi government's performance in the political and security arenas haven't been met." (For more info, read Petraeus Report is Irrelevant to Gauging Success in Iraq.)
LISTING OF THE 18 BENCHMARKS
The 18 benchmarks, which were included in Title I, Section 1314(b)(1)(a) of H.R. 2206, are as follows:
(A) The United States strategy in Iraq, hereafter, shall be conditioned on the Iraqi government meeting benchmarks, as told to members of Congress by the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and reflected in the Iraqi Government's commitments to the United States, and to the international community, including:
(i) Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.
(ii) Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification.
(iii) Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.
(iv) Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions.
(v) Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.
(vi) Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.
(vii) Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the Constitution of Iraq.
(viii) Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.
(ix) Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.
(x) Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
(xi) Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing even handed enforcement of the law.
(xii) Ensuring that, according to President Bush, Prime Minister Maliki said `the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation'.
(xiii) Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.
(xiv) Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.
(xv) Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.
(xvi) Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.
(xvii) Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.
(xviii) Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces.