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KevinBrowning
December 6th, 2006, 04:09 PM
The Baker-Hamilton Commission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Study_Group) has released its report (http://www.usip.org/isg/iraq_study_group_report/report/1206/) on the evaluation and recommendations for the Iraq War. The commission is a 5-Republican, 5-Democrat panel.

Since it's a PDF, I can't copy and paste, but I was wondering if anyone had read any of it yet. I haven't read much yet, but here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iraq) is a summary of its findings and suggestions:

"Among its 79 recommendations, the group said the United States should reduce political, military or economic support for Iraq if the government in Baghdad cannot make substantial progress. The report said Iraqi leaders have failed to deliver better security or political compromises that would reduce violence, and it implied that a four-month joint U.S.-Iraqi military campaign to reduce violence in Baghdad is hopeless.

"Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end," the report said.

That was a withering evaluation of a central tenet of the Bush military strategy in Iraq. In Baghdad and elsewhere, U.S. forces are supposed to help Iraqi units "clear, hold and build," shorthand for routing insurgents or other fighters from problem areas, securing those areas from further violence and setting a positive future course.

On the highly emotional issue of troop withdrawals, the commission warned against either a precipitous pullback or an open-ended commitment to a large deployment.

"Military priorities must change," the report said, toward a goal of training, equipping and advising Iraqi forces.

The report said Bush should put aside misgivings and engage Syria, Iran and the leaders of insurgent forces in negotiations on Iraq's future, to begin by year's end. It urged him to revive efforts at a broader Middle East peace."

My main objection is painting the situation in Baghdad as hopeless. That is the central city, the one place that can't be given up on.

There have been and continue to be meetings trying to bring together de facto tribal leaders and not just elected officials, so Bush is already pursuing that aspect.

At least it doesn't advocate the cut-and-run "strategy."

Any thoughts?

Stealth
December 6th, 2006, 04:18 PM
1001 one ways to say "**** this, let's get outta here."

I actually think that, morally, and strategically the US would be best with full, immediate, and unilateral, withdrawal.

Morally, we would no longer be involving ourselves in this endless parade of nightmares which we began and which we can only make worse.

Strategically, we would essentially make it a proxy war of Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda v. Iran. All of our greatest regional enemies fighting each other for us.

KevinBrowning
December 6th, 2006, 04:23 PM
Strategically, we would essentially make it a proxy war of Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda v. Iran. All of our greatest regional enemies fighting each other for us.

And how is continued or increased sectarian fighting a good thing for regional stability, one of our main objectives?

Stealth
December 6th, 2006, 04:26 PM
The implicit assumption there is that stability in Iraq can be achieved.

It seems almost self-evidently false.

KevinBrowning
December 6th, 2006, 04:29 PM
The implicit assumption there is that stability in Iraq can be achieved.

It seems almost self-evidently false.

If that was self-evident, there wouldn't be military commanders who believe stability is possible eventually.

If we don't just pull out as you'd like, would you recommend sticking with the unified state attempt, or would you suggest partition?

Stealth
December 6th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Neither is good. If you stick with the state, you'll never have political order, because of lack of social cohesion, religion, shared traditions, ethnicity, etc, etc, etc. The foundation isn't there for a unified society.

If you go with partition, your just going to go right back to warfare, as it isn't clear where some ethnic areas end and others begin. And it wouldn't improve the Baghdad situation any.

If you want stability, I think I'd just recommend a military coup and installing a strongman.

Dr. Gonzo
December 6th, 2006, 04:41 PM
I think Kevin would agree with me when I proclaim that I refuse to listen to the "logic" and "sound arguments" of the Anti-American Study Group. Clearly we need MORE troops, MORE death, MORE destruction, and MORE pain. It is the only way we can have peace...through war.

Peace in the middle east cannot come through peace, but it must come through violence. We need to end their conflict by starting conflict.

This is not an Iraqi civil war...it is an American one.

America is in the middle east...Dems need to learn geography. The terraces will follow us back to America on their magic carpets. Magic carpets exist in Iraq just like WMDs do.

Clearly if you support freedom, you must support the draft. Slavery is freedom. War is Peace. Bush is smart.

In summation...

I think we need to reject any opinion that isn't Bush's...that is the only way we can make the world (except America) safe for Democracy.

FruitandNut
December 6th, 2006, 05:10 PM
Kev - As I first prophesied about three years or so back {me and a lot more who can do 'joined-up' thinking], it is all going to end in 'tears'. You just can't suddenly insert 'democracy' into a fragile spot of turf that is locked within a diaspora that finds such a concept foreign to its culture(s).

It really ain't rocket science.

Snoop
December 6th, 2006, 05:16 PM
They should try the Fiji Island approach - have a military coup every few years.

manise
December 6th, 2006, 06:36 PM
At least it doesn't advocate the cut-and-run "strategy."Everything about this report smells of "withdrawal" by early 2008. That's an election year. If 2008 arrives and no withdrawal occurs, the American people will do what--call for more troops? Where is the political support for dragging this war beyond 2008? Or even mid-2007 at the rate of deterioration in Iraq we are now witnessing?

This report is designed to give political cover to all those politicians who supported the war. It's "cut and jog." You can't run an unpopular war forever as the Republicans learned last November. A year from now, if we are still in Iraq with no end in sight, it will be the Republicans who pay once again. That's why Republicans actively support this report.

The report will force Bush to show tangible improvements by January 2008 or the pressure for withdrawal will grow exponentially across the political spectrum. It will make life even more difficult for any politician advocating MORE troops. That would be presidential hopeful John McCain.

The tide has turned. All that is left is the next big debate, "Who lost Iraq?"

Mr. Hyde
December 6th, 2006, 11:08 PM
And how is continued or increased sectarian fighting a good thing for regional stability, one of our main objectives?

Letting the fighting there continue, while destabilising it even more, presents a continually weakening society, one that is even easier swayed with a promise of SOMETHING rather than a life of nothing. A life of peace rather than a life of violence. In a way, strategically speaking, sparking a civil war within a country is a great way to take control without actually having to fight as hard.

jamesb5007
December 8th, 2006, 05:28 PM
What makes any one think these guys could come up with a plan? 10 people dug up from past American foreign policy failure trotted out before us and we're supposed to hope something good is going to come out of it? Something good will eventually come out of Iraq, and it will be that America no longer has the ability to destroy the rest of the planet. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later.

FruitandNut
December 9th, 2006, 01:10 AM
There is a new Iraqi saying that is doing the tour of Baghdad at present, translated it becomes:

'Yesterday was better than today, today will be better than tomorrow'. Who knows best, Kev and Dubya, or the guys living the crap in downtown Pitsville?

GoldPhoenix
December 10th, 2006, 10:48 AM
The Baker-Hamilton Commission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Study_Group) has released its report (http://www.usip.org/isg/iraq_study_group_report/report/1206/) on the evaluation and recommendations for the Iraq War. The commission is a 5-Republican, 5-Democrat panel.

Since it's a PDF, I can't copy and paste, but I was wondering if anyone had read any of it yet. I haven't read much yet, but here (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iraq) is a summary of its findings and suggestions:

"Among its 79 recommendations, the group said the United States should reduce political, military or economic support for Iraq if the government in Baghdad cannot make substantial progress. The report said Iraqi leaders have failed to deliver better security or political compromises that would reduce violence, and it implied that a four-month joint U.S.-Iraqi military campaign to reduce violence in Baghdad is hopeless.

"Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end," the report said.

That was a withering evaluation of a central tenet of the Bush military strategy in Iraq. In Baghdad and elsewhere, U.S. forces are supposed to help Iraqi units "clear, hold and build," shorthand for routing insurgents or other fighters from problem areas, securing those areas from further violence and setting a positive future course.

On the highly emotional issue of troop withdrawals, the commission warned against either a precipitous pullback or an open-ended commitment to a large deployment.

"Military priorities must change," the report said, toward a goal of training, equipping and advising Iraqi forces.

The report said Bush should put aside misgivings and engage Syria, Iran and the leaders of insurgent forces in negotiations on Iraq's future, to begin by year's end. It urged him to revive efforts at a broader Middle East peace."

My main objection is painting the situation in Baghdad as hopeless. That is the central city, the one place that can't be given up on.

There have been and continue to be meetings trying to bring together de facto tribal leaders and not just elected officials, so Bush is already pursuing that aspect.

At least it doesn't advocate the cut-and-run "strategy."

Any thoughts?

I saw the opinions on it on Meet the Press. The most that experts can agree on this is that it states that our policy on Iraq and ou "stay the course" horse crap needs to change. Otherwise, their policy is debated.

KevinBrowning
December 10th, 2006, 04:19 PM
There is a new Iraqi saying that is doing the tour of Baghdad at present, translated it becomes:

'Yesterday was better than today, today will be better than tomorrow'. Who knows best, Kev and Dubya, or the guys living the crap in downtown Pitsville?

I've always said it will get much worse before it gets better.

Stealth
December 11th, 2006, 10:41 PM
Or get much worse before it gets much, much, worse.