Thursday, November 16, 2006

Iraq II: The Same Old New Strategy

The Iraq Study Group and his own internal policy review be damned. The Guardian reports that The Decider has settled on a "last big push" in Iraq that includes these elements:
* Increase troop levels by up to 20,000 to secure Baghdad and allow redeployments elsewhere in Iraq.

* Focus on regional cooperation with international conferences and/or direct diplomatic involvement of countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

* Revive the reconciliation process between Sunnis, Shiites and others.

* Increase resources from Congress to fund training and equipment for Iraqi security forces.

What can be read into this?
* First and foremost, the "last big push" aspect would seem to be a rare concession to reality. Iraq already has tipped into civil war. Chaos is next. If the U.S. strategy cannot prevail, then it's time to get out.

* Conspicuous in its absence is any mention of Iran and Syria, which the White House has adamantly refused to talk to although these governments could provide a much needed safety valve.

* The notion of reviving the sectarian reconciliation process seems ridiculous at this point.

* Also conspicious in its absence is any mention of the word democracy.
Onward ho!

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