Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Report

Here is the long awaited report. I haven't read it all yet, but here are some excerpts. Will have a follow-up post with comments! Initial reaction - nothing new, may even be old, but at least serious.

-- "The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved."

-- "Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another. If they are effectively implemented, and if the Iraqi government moves forward with national reconciliation, Iraqis will have an opportunity for a better future, terrorism will be dealt a blow, stability will be enhanced in an important part of the world, and America's credibility, interests and values will be protected."

--- "If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al-Qaida could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations. The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized."

-- "During the past nine months we have considered a full range of approaches for moving forward. All have flaws. Our recommended course has shortcomings, but we firmly believe that it includes the best strategies and tactics to positively influence the outcome in Iraq and the region."

--- "The United States should immediately launch a new diplomatic offensive to build an international consensus for stability in Iraq and the region. This diplomatic effort should include every country that has an interest in avoiding a chaotic Iraq, including all of Iraq's neighbors. Iraq's neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group to reinforce security and national reconciliation within Iraq, neither of which Iraq can achieve on its own."

--- "Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively. In seeking to influence the behavior of both countries, the United States has disincentives and incentives available. Iran should stem the flow of arms and training to Iraq, respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and use its influence over Iraqi Shia groups to encourage national reconciliation. The issue of Iran's nuclear programs should continue to be dealt with by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. Syria should control its border with Iraq to stem the flow of funding, insurgents and terrorists in and out of Iraq.

"The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict and regional instability. There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts: Lebanon, Syria and President Bush's June 2002 commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This commitment must include direct talks with, by and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians - those who accept Israel's right to exist - and Syria.

"As the United States develops its approach toward Iraq and the Middle East, the United States should provide additional political, economic and military support for Afghanistan, including resources that might become available as combat forces are moved out of Iraq."

--- "The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over primary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq. At that time, U.S. combat forces in Iraq could be deployed only in units embedded with Iraqi forces, in rapid-reaction and special operations teams and in training, equipping, advising, force protection and search and rescue. Intelligence and support efforts would continue. A vital mission of those rapid reaction and special operations forces would be to undertake strikes against al-Qaida in Iraq."

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7 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The report is contrary to the Bush-Cheney legacy. They are doing what they can to blow it off.

4:22 PM  
Blogger CB said...

And they should! What garbage...

They say it's tough in Iraq...duh

Negotiate with Iran and Syria, why not Osama?

Centrists remind me of a passage in the book of Revelation, they are neither hot nor cold, I will spew them out of my mouth.

Hey fellow former banker, if this were an offering statement, I wouldn't be buying.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous SAURON said...

cb, I agree with you politically, but not philosophically. Your Post is too personal, and views differing from one's own are important.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." ; "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?"

3:41 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Moderates, centrists or those who like to think of themselves or have others think of them as such, disturb me. They disturb me more than committed liberals or even leftists.

Commitment is the key for me. The fence sitters, too often, appear to me to be opportunists. Lindsay Graham, John McCain, John Warner, Chuck Hagel, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Lincoln Chaffee, Mike DeWine - yuck!

I agree views that differ from my own are important and valuable - and may occasioanlly be correct :-)

I respect views that are uncorrupted, principled and genuine. Too often I find guile and deceit with the political centrists, who seek power for its own sake and not to advance anything beyond themselves.

I will concede that at times my distaste may cause me to become too personal. I can and should hate the sin and love the sinner.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

This blog represents the person talked about, rarely found. The person who examines ideas on their merits.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Thanks RE
You are the ultimate rebel prince!

7:34 PM  
Blogger Taru said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Joannah

http://easypowerpaint.com

10:30 PM  

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