Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stability First, Containment Later

The special commission on Iraq led by James Baker is going to produce these recommendations. Baker told Charlie Rose that the commission would release its report after the elections but then must have thought better of it and leaked it to the Los Angeles Times, a likely ploy to boost the Republicans.

1) Engage Iran and Syria in stabilizing Baghdad, and if that works,
2) Redeploy US troops to permanent bases in Iraq, from which the US could strike the guerrillas and the militias.

Maybe it's me, but I see the story of a failure foretold. If you are Iran, are you going to help the US stabilize Baghdad so it can then fortify permanent military bases directing a threat at you? One thing is certain, neither country is likely to play ball without big concessions. I really don't believe that Washington will offer the right things, like WTO membership, dropping of economic sanctions, guarantees of sovereignty, financial assistance and so forth. Maybe Washington should be thinking of something more realistic, like getting the Georgians out of hot water with the Russians.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Nur it may have been leaked but he has distanced himself from the leak, saying the report has not yet been WRITTEN.

interesting stuff

"In his book, Baker writes that the Defense Department made costly mistakes, including disbanding the Iraqi army, not allowing members of Saddam Hussein's political party to serve in the government and not sending enough troops to subdue the country.

He suggests that political infighting between the State and Defense departments may be partially to blame, too, for making it difficult for the current Bush administration to win support in the U.S. and abroad for foreign-policy initiatives. His statements seem particularly strong given his extraordinary loyalty to the Bush family.

The current president welcomed Baker's involvement with the Iraq Study Group, and he took the assignment only with the administration's approval, he said.

"I'm honest that we underestimated the cost of winning the peace in Iraq," Baker said in an interview. "I also make it clear that I'm not implicitly criticizing the president. I don't seek to determine at what levels the mistakes are made."

Best Wishes

6:43 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home