Iraq: U.S. Regime Change Efforts and Post-Saddam Governance [Updated May 16, 2005] [open pdf - 295KB]
"Operation Iraqi Freedom accomplished a long-standing U.S. objective, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, but replacing his regime with a stable, moderate, democratic political structure has been complicated by a persistent Sunni Arab-led insurgency. The Bush Administration asserts that establishing democracy in Iraq will catalyze the promotion of democracy throughout the Middle East. The desired outcome would also likely prevent Iraq from becoming a sanctuary for terrorists, a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission report. The Bush Administration asserts that U.S. policy in Iraq is now showing substantial success, demonstrated by January 30, 2005 elections that chose a National Assembly, and progress in building Iraq's various security forces. The Administration says it expects that the current transition roadmap - including votes on a permanent constitution by October 31, 2005 and for a permanent government by December 15, 2005 - are being implemented. Others believe the insurgency is widespread, as shown by its recent attacks, and that the Iraqi government could not stand on its own were U.S. and allied international forces to withdraw from Iraq. Some U.S. commanders and senior intelligence officials say that some Islamic militants have entered Iraq since Saddam Hussein fell, to fight what they see as a new 'jihad' (Islamic war) against the United States."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31339
United States. Dept. of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/