News Release

The Brookings Iraq Index: Measuring Reconstruction and Security

November 14, 2003

The ongoing attacks by Iraqi insurgents have made it difficult to gauge whether the United States has been making progress in rebuilding the country since the capture of Baghdad. Today, the Brookings Institution launches the Iraq Index, an online resource designed to offer a balanced measure of America’s reconstruction and security efforts. The Iraq Index can be found on the Brookings Institution website, at

The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic and security data. The resource will provide updated information on various criteria, including crime, telephone and water service, troop fatalities, unemployment, Iraqi security forces, oil production, and coalition troop strength.

The index is designed to quantify the rebuilding efforts and offer an objective set of criteria for benchmarking performance. It is the first in-depth, non-partisan assessment of American efforts in Iraq, and is based primarily on U.S. government information. Although measurements of progress in any nation-building effort can never be reduced to purely quantitative data, a comprehensive compilation of such information can provide a clearer picture and contribute to a healthier and better informed debate.

Michael O’Hanlon spearheads the Iraq Index project at Brookings, with assistance from Senior Research Assistant Adriana Lins de Albuquerque. O’Hanlon is a Foreign Policy Studies senior fellow and recently served on a U.S. government delegation to Iraq to review post-war progress.

The Brookings Institution is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, analysis, education, and publication focused on public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, and governance. The goal of Brookings activities is to improve the performance of American institutions and the quality of public policy by using social science to analyze emerging issues and to offer practical approaches to those issues in language aimed at the general public.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.