Ryan Crocker was grilled Thursday concerning his areas of responsibility within the 18 target areas which Congress established. In many respects, his main responsibility is tougher than that being handled by Gen. Petraeus. He's responsible for herding the Iraqi legislative cats in order to get them to start:
1) enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification reform.
2) enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to all Iraqis.
3) establishing provincial council authorities and establishing a date for provincial elections.
There were two developments this week that will aid (hopefully) in the cat herding. Both the Sunnis and the Sadrists have returned to Parliament. My view is that both realize that the oil revenue is going to be divvied up very soon (item 2) and neither wants to miss out on getting their cut. There is a fair chance that all three items will be achieved before the end of August, although I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
The Iraqi Reconstruction Effort proceeds apace with 84% of the money spent and three of the seven major goals accomplished. It looks as if two more will be accomplished shortly. The Corps of Engineers just keeps chugging along.
Bill Roggio provides another comprehensive (and positive) roundup of surge results while Michael Yon files a dispatch containing the most positive tag line I have ever seen him use.
I would also note that the Chicken Little Congress has set a new record. Keep up the good work!
From the Bench
20 minutes ago