The December 2008 update to this quarterly report to Congress states,
"Iraq continued to make incremental political and legislative progress this reporting period.
The most significant accomplishments were the passage and ratification of the Strategic
Framework Agreement (SFA) and a Security Agreement—often called a Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA)—on December 4, 2008, as well as the Provincial Elections Law (PEL) in
September 2008. The return of Tawafuq to the government and the appointment of Deputy
Prime Minister Issawi have been signs of reengagement by Sunni Arabs at the national
level. Ongoing operations by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) against Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM),
Special Groups (SG), and Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in Baghdad, Basrah, Diyala, Maysan,
and Ninewa Provinces have demonstrated the Government of Iraq’s (GoI) commitment to
Despite marginal improvement, however, political tensions remain high."