Council on Foreign Relations report on Iraq strategy

16 Feb

For some serious reading on what may/should happen in Iraq, go to the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations and download the PDF file After the Surge: The Case for U.S. Military Disengagement from Iraq.

Iraq has come to dominate U.S. foreign policy—and the controversy over Iraq has come to dominate the debate over U.S. foreign policy. This report by Steven N. Simon, the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, makes a major contribution to that debate.

After the Surge: The Case for U.S. Military Disengagement from Iraq is premised on the judgment that the United States is not succeeding in Iraq and that Iraq itself is more divided and violent than ever. It concludes that the administration’s decision to increase U.S. force levels will fail to prevent further deterioration in the situation—and that there is no alternative policy with the potential to turn things around.

As a result, Simon urges the United States to disengage militarily from Iraq, a disengagement that in his view should involve a negotiated accord with Iraq’s government, a dialogue with Iraq’s neighbors, and new diplomatic initiatives throughout the region. Simon argues that if the United States does all this, it can minimize the strategic costs of its failure in Iraq and even offset these losses in whole or in part.

Read it. Take the debate beyond the government’s posturing and the question of Kevin Rudd’s “courage”.

Thanks to The Poet for drawing my attention to this.


I have now read this report and cannot exaggerate its importance to us here in Australia. John Howard is fond of the word “measured” when it comes to environmental issues, but is far from “measured” in his rhetoric on Iraq. In the latter case he is crude, simplistic, partisan, and dare I say dishonest in his straw man attacks on alternative views. In this report you will find something much more substantial than the straw man Howard attacks, and far more measured than the approach he supports.

All Australians should read this document. I trust Kevin Rudd already has.

Play this animation: Iraq War Coalition Fatalities.


Click to visit the source.

See also Casualties of the conflict in Iraq since 2003.

17 February

I have posted some related election-centred material on Journalspace.

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 99: BILL TITLE: Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq

TOTALS: YEA: 246 including 17 Republicans NAY: 182 including 2 Democrats NOT VOTING: 6

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2 responses to “Council on Foreign Relations report on Iraq strategy

  1. Yee Piao

    February 16, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Well, I think the US government is still living in the trauma of the 911 event. US is always the pioneer that the world member’s once admire…

    Now, after the 911 event, US government seems reluctant to come out from the shadow and keep fighting for revenge…

    Iraq’s internal security will deteriorate more for sure if there are still US army in the country. US government must give Iraqi government to manage their country themselves in order to come back from war!

  2. Daniel

    February 16, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    I think it might be more correct to say that Bush is still using the 9/11 event both to justify the rapidly growing American imperialism and to frighten his own people in order to make them easier to manipulate. Cheers!

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