Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Thinking Past Plan B in Iraq

By Ivan Eland
May 22, 2007

After initially spurning the Iraq Study Group’s (ISG) recommendations, President Bush now seems inclined toward the ISG’s recommendation of transforming the U.S. military’s role from fighting insurgents and militias into a smaller force that would train Iraqi forces in seeming perpetuity.

Although this solution would lower U.S. casualties, and perhaps increase Republican chances in the 2008 elections, it will do little to dampen the combination of guerrilla and civil war in Iraq. A more radical solution is needed: a dramatic decentralization of Iraqi governance.

Read on.


profmarcus said...

i was irritated enough by today's wapo david ignatius op-ed, talking about the "post-surge" plan, that i had to resist the urge to jump on an airplane, fly to d.c., and strangle the ever-loving daylights out of him... if you were just a moderately informed american and happened to read ignatius' piece, here's what you would come away with...

* the "surge" (not an escalation) that is taking place in iraq is not only temporary, it has a definite time limit, and its conclusion is close enough to begin detailed planning for what takes place afterward
* the u.s. will still be in iraq after the surge is over
* there is a serious desire on the part of the bush administration to craft a plan that would appeal to both political parties
* focusing on training and advising is a "new" policy
* the surge will succeed in reducing sectarian violence but political reconciliation cannot be achieved and the problem of sectarian violence cannot be fixed (huh...?)
* the u.s. is in active discussions with iran and syria
* george bush has changed his mind and now supports the recommendations of the iraq study group
* george bush is flexible enough to see that his policies in iraq need to be changed
* a plan can be crafted that will have the support of congress, the american people, and both political parties
* the u.s. will still be in iraq when george bush leaves office

i can only conclude that's what ignatius WANTS you to come away with, but, if this is the kind of journalism our major media prefer to engage in, the opportunity for the american people to get an accurate picture of events and, as a result, to make the right choices as responsible citizens, is seriously diminished...


mosseiran said...

It is beyond the point of no return.

The day Bush announced the surge is the day the race started between Iraqi factions to control Iraq post U.S. occupation. June, 2007, is the month I considered most critical.

As much as Mr. Eland's opinion is wishfull thinking based on good intentions, a full blown civil war is very likely as the only logical outcome. Some Iraqi factions seem to be realigning themselves to create a somewhat inclusive nationalist block. I suspect that they will prevail and be able to minimize the impact of a civil war on the population.

There is a need for a united Iraq with a strong central government to re-establish the regional balance that was there under Saddam.

A fractured Iraq will be the source of continuous instability in the region and a nightmare.

Unfortunately, a civil will be the tool through which the various factions are going to reach mutual understanding.

Please read "S is for Surge and Synergy"
Maher Osseiran