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Iraq: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight


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To assist the 111th Congress, we have enclosed a series of issue papers for consideration in developing congressional oversight agendas and determining the way forward in securing and stabilizing Iraq. These papers are based on the continuing work of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the more than 130 Iraq-related products we have issued since May 2003. Since fiscal year 2001, Congress has provided about $808 billion to the Department of Defense (DOD) for military efforts primarily in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The majority of this amount has been for military operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Moreover, since fiscal year 2003, about $49 billion has been provided to U.S. agencies for stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq, including developing Iraq's security forces, enhancing Iraq's capacity to govern, and rebuilding Iraq's oil, electricity, and water sectors, among other activities. This report expands on issues discussed on GAO's transition Web site, In January 2007, President Bush announced The New Way Forward in Iraq to stem violence and enable the Iraqi government to foster national reconciliation. This strategy established goals and objectives through July 2008 and reasserted the long-term goal or end state for Iraq: a unified, democratic, federal Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself and is an ally in the war on terror. To support the strategy, the United States increased its military presence through a surge of brigade combat teams and associated forces.



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