1.15.2007

The U.S. New Iraq Strategy

Finally, the US has acknowledged the regional active role in Iraq's instability and violence. So, it will activate the regional dimension in the U.S. new Iraq strategy as an essential element.

It is quite clear that without foreign support the insurgency in Iraq cannot be sustainable or politically effective. As the Iraq's insurgency has its domestic roots, the foreign (regional) input and intervention were essential in turning its efficacy from the security level to the political level. Here I should remind that the insurgency course in Iraq was in reverse that the violence advanced or led the political issue or problem not the political strife which produced the violence. That indicates that there are external roles and players taking their parts in this whole operation and manipulate the course of events there.

So, as we should be totally aware of the domestic roots of the insurgency in Iraq, we should also be aware that it is definitely a regional issue and a deliberate war on the Western world on behalf of the totalitarianism in the Middle East, especially the Iraq's two neighboring totalitarian regimes as I said frequently before. Therefore, this new 'regional' move in the new strategy is really an indispensable step forward.

The other achievement by this new strategy is a very important one that the US has not accepted the blackmail of the regional totalitarian despotic regimes trying to save their heads after the geo-strategic change in the post-Iraq Middle East and the beginning of the democratic movement in the region. If the US consented to that blackmail—as it did before in the past, the consequences would be more than disastrous to the region and to the US and its interests in this region and to us, the peoples of the Middle East, especially the democratic intellectuals and activists. Changing the strategic course in the Middle East after Iraq and blowing up the nascent democratic course there on behalf of totalitarian rogue regimes and their regional system of despotism, violence and extremism will be more than a huge historic mistake that no one can take.

I will post the White House fact sheet on the president's strategy which summarizes Bush’s new strategy for Iraq and a related report by the State Department's information service. I recommend that you read this strategy alongside the U.S. Middle East strategy.

Some related comments and articles of mine:

- The Neo-Internationalism After 9/11 and Middle East Democratization

- Defining the Iraqi Question

- Totalitarianism, Violence and Terror

- Iraq Victory: Middle East Salvation

- Middle East Totalitarians and Existential Choice

- Middle East Totalitarian Axis

- Middle East Salvation

- Lebanon's Liberation and Independence

- The International 'New Deal' of the Middle East


White House Outlines Bush’s New Iraq Strategy

Key elements are security, political, economic and regional

The following fact sheet summarizes President Bush’s new strategy for Iraq. This strategy is also the subject of a televised address to the American people scheduled for the evening of January 10.

(begin fact sheet)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
January 10, 2007

Fact Sheet

The New Way Forward In Iraq

The President's New Iraq Strategy Is Rooted In Six Fundamental Elements:

1. Let the Iraqis lead;
2. Help Iraqis protect the population;
3. Isolate extremists;
4. Create space for political progress;
5. Diversify political and economic efforts; and
6. Situate the strategy in a regional approach.

The Consequences Of Failure In Iraq Could Not Be Graver – The War On Terror Cannot Be Won If We Fail In Iraq. Our enemies throughout the Middle East are trying to defeat us in Iraq. If we step back now, the problems in Iraq will become more lethal, and make our troops fight an uglier battle than we are seeing today.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Security

Iraqi:

• Publicly acknowledge all parties are responsible for quelling sectarian violence.

• Work with additional Coalition help to regain control of the capital and protect the Iraqi population.

• Deliver necessary Iraqi forces for Baghdad and protect those forces from political interference.

• Commit to intensify efforts to build balanced security forces throughout the nation that provide security even-handedly for all Iraqis.

• Plan and fund eventual demobilization program for militias.

Coalition:

• Agree that helping Iraqis to provide population security is necessary to enable accelerated transition and political progress.

• Provide additional military and civilian resources to accomplish this mission.

• Increase efforts to support tribes willing to help Iraqis fight Al Qaeda in Anbar.

• Accelerate and expand the embed program while minimizing risk to participants.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Continue counter-terror operations against Al Qaeda and insurgent organizations.

• Take more vigorous action against death squad networks.

• Accelerate transition to Iraqi responsibility and increase Iraqi ownership.

• Increase Iraqi security force capacity – both size and effectiveness – from 10 to 13 Army divisions, 36 to 41 Army Brigades, and 112 to 132 Army Battalions.

-- Establish a National Operations Center, National Counterterrorism Force, and National Strike Force.

-- Reform the Ministry of Interior to increase transparency and accountability and transform the National Police.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Political

Iraqi:

• The Government of Iraq commits to:

-- Reform its cabinet to provide even-handed service delivery.

-- Act on promised reconciliation initiatives (oil law, de-Baathification law, Provincial elections).

-- Give Coalition and ISF authority to pursue ALL extremists.

• All Iraqi leaders support reconciliation.

• Moderate coalition emerges as strong base of support for unity government.

Coalition:

• Support political moderates so they can take on the extremists.

-- Build and sustain strategic partnerships with moderate Shi'a, Sunnis, and Kurds.

• Support the national compact and key elements of reconciliation with Iraqis in the lead.

• Diversify U.S. efforts to foster political accommodation outside Baghdad (more flexibility for local commanders and civilian leaders).

-- Expand and increase the flexibility of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) footprint.

-- Focus U.S. political, security, and economic resources at local level to open space for moderates, with initial priority to Baghdad and Anbar.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Partnership between Prime Minister Maliki, Iraqi moderates, and the United States where all parties are clear on expectations and responsibilities.

• Strengthen the rule of law and combat corruption.

• Build on security gains to foster local and national political accommodations.

• Make Iraqi institutions even-handed, serving all of Iraq's communities on an impartial basis.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Economic

Iraqi:

• Deliver economic resources and provide essential services to all areas and communities.

• Enact hydrocarbons law to promote investment, national unity, and reconciliation.

• Capitalize and execute jobs-producing programs.

• Match U.S. efforts to create jobs with longer term sustainable Iraqi programs.

• Focus more economic effort on relatively secure areas as a magnet for employment and growth.

Coalition:

• Refocus efforts to help Iraqis build capacity in areas vital to success of the government (e.g. budget execution, key ministries).

• Decentralize efforts to build Iraqi capacities outside the Green Zone.

-- Double the number of PRTs and civilians serving outside the Green Zone.

-- Establish PRT-capability within maneuver Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).

• Greater integration of economic strategy with military effort.

-- Joint civil-military plans devised by PRT and BCT.

-- Remove legal and bureaucratic barriers to maximize cooperation and flexibility.

Key Elements Of The New Approach: Regional

Iraqi:

• Vigorously engage Arab states.

• Take the lead in establishing a regional forum to give support and help from the neighborhood.

• Counter negative foreign activity in Iraq.

• Increase efforts to counter PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party).

Coalition:

• Intensify efforts to counter Iranian and Syrian influence inside Iraq.

• Increase military presence in the region.

• Strengthen defense ties with partner states in the region.

• Encourage Arab state support to Government of Iraq.

• Continue efforts to help manage relations between Iraq and Turkey.

• Continue to seek the region's full support in the War on Terror.

Both Coalition And Iraqi:

• Focus on the International Compact.

• Retain active U.N. engagement in Iraq – particularly for election support and constitutional review.

(end fact sheet)

Bush’s Address on Strategy in Iraq is available here.

-----------------------------------

Bush Sending Additional U.S. Forces To Support Iraqi Troops

By Stephen Kaufman
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington – In a televised address to the American people January 10, President Bush announced the deployment of five additional U.S. Army brigades to Iraq to support Iraqi army operations in and around its capital, Baghdad, and two Marine brigades to Anbar province to assist in operations against al-Qaida.

Bush said the deployment of more than 20,000 additional U.S. forces in support of an Iraqi plan to bring security “will change America’s course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.”

The president said security is the “most urgent priority,” especially in Baghdad because 80 percent of the sectarian violence occurs within a 30-mile [48-kilometer] radius of the capital.

The five U.S. Army brigades are expected to remain under U.S. command but will work with and in support of the Iraqi forces who are charged with patrolling, setting up checkpoints and demonstrating to the city’s residents that Iraqi forces are providing security.

The two Marine brigades will assist Iraqi forces and local Sunni tribes in Anbar province that are resisting al-Qaida’s use of the area as its base of operations in Iraq.

Bush ascribed the failure of previous attempts to secure Baghdad to an inadequate number of Iraqi and American troops available to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorist and insurgent forces, as well as “too many restrictions on the troops we did have.” He said U.S. military commanders reported that the new Iraqi security plan addresses those mistakes and told him “this plan can work.” Iraqi and American forces will be able to enter neighborhoods where political and sectarian interference had previously prevented them.

Bush added that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.”

The Iraqi government plans to take security responsibility for all of Iraq’s provinces by November, pass legislation to share the country’s oil revenues, undertake political reforms and spend $10 billion on reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

Earlier in the day, a senior administration official told reporters that the plan is “a different and better concept of operations,” than in the past. It will be “adequately resourced first and foremost by the Iraqis,” as well as by the additional U.S. forces who were requested by the Iraqi security officials and commanders.

Bush said initial U.S. hopes at the end of 2005 for political progress in Iraq were “overwhelmed” in 2006 by the country’s sectarian violence. The current situation in Iraq is “unacceptable to the American people and it's unacceptable to me,” Bush said, adding that the current strategy in Iraq needs to be changed, and “[w]here mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.”

He said the Iraqi government is aware that “America’s commitment is not open-ended,” and if it does not follow through on its promises, “it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.”

PRESIDENT PLANS ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC AID TO IRAQ

The president also said the new plan will include additional economic assistance and doubling the number of provincial reconstruction teams charged with helping Iraqis build up local governments, assisting local reconciliation efforts and providing local economic assistance.

The official said that Bush drew two conclusions from recent consultations on and review of U.S. policy in Iraq: “there are no silver bullets” to solve the problem instantly and “America cannot afford to fail” in Iraq.

In combating sectarian violence, the president said only the Iraqi people themselves can end the violence by deciding to live together in peace, and that the Iraqi government “has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.”

He said Iraq’s moderate neighbors have a vested interest in its success and need to increase their support for its unity government, while also pledging to interrupt the flow of support to extremists from Iran and Syria.

Bush said “millions of ordinary people” in the Middle East and South Asia are “sick of violence and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children.” They are looking at Iraq in order to see if the United States will withdraw or stand with the people of Iraq, he said.

Victory in Iraq will achieve “a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people,” the president said.

----------------------------------------

Nassim Yaziji's Neo-Internationalism

Nassim Yaziji's perspective

Labels: , , , , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home