Monday, May 14, 2007

Charting Progress in Iraq

This topic of determing how things are going on the ground in Iraq seems to be heating up in the last few days. See for example, Sheryl Gay Stolberg's New York Times article from May 13th - See You in September, Whatever That Means where she says:
There’s just one problem. Nobody in Washington seems to agree on what progress actually means — or how, precisely, it might be measured.
While I don't agree with that premise, the article opened up the door to a ton of worthwhile commentary - much of discussing possible factors that might be useful to gauge how things are going.

Another recent contribution to this topic was David Peck's Christian Science Monitor Article on why we need yardsticks for both success and failure in Iraq. David skillfully maps his experience with coaching leaders onto the pressing leadership issues involved in our presence in Iraq. The money quote of this article for me was:
there has never been agreement on the status of the war in Iraq because there are no agreed-upon measurements.
For some perspective from a couple of years back, and maybe to help understand how much or little forward momentum we are making in talking about progress, I also suggest you take a look at this Dan Froomkin article on Nieman Watchdog from a couple of years back (May 2005): Isn’t there some way to tell if we're winning or losing in Iraq?

We've delved into this topic in previous posts (see: Most Important Iraq Data) and we plan to revisit it again soon based on these new inputs and what seems to be a growing interest in the topic.

And of course in our opinion since what gets measured gets done and what doesn't get measured doesn't get done, this particular topic is of particular importance and relevance right now.

Hat tip to Dan Froomkin for pointing out both the referenced NY Times and the CS Monitor articles in his White House Watch Blog.

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