President Bush will be sending one of his top aides to Iraq to assist the Iraqis "meet the benchmarks that the Congress and the President expect to get passed," he announced in a press conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Though many items of mutual concern were discussed during today's White House meeting between the Iraqi and US presidents, benchmarks appeared to have been the primary focus. Washington has been urging the Iraqis to move more aggressively on draft legislation that would address the equal distribution of oil revenue, reform the de-Baathification process, and plan for provincial elections.
O'Sullivan spent time in Baghdad early in the war, working for Jay Garner, and subsequently Paul Bremer. After returning to Washington, she joined the White House staff in October 2005, becoming Bush's top policy adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan until her resignation last month.
Though O'Sullivan had said she would probably be seeking work outside the government after leaving the White House, the opportunity of the new position apparently changed her mind. President Bush says she will work directly with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, but did not detail what efforts she would undertake assisting the Iraqis to push through the pertinent legislation.