A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.
Those benchmarks appear to be somewhat met if you exclude political developements. Doh!
* The Government of Iraq commits to:
o Reform its cabinet to provide even-handed service delivery.
o Act on promised reconciliation initiatives (oil law, de-Baathification law, Provincial elections).
o 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.
four three Friedman Units and six months,
To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.
We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors, and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region, to build support for Iraq and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.
So far Dubai is the only nation to forgive debts from the Saddass years, IIRC.
Somewhere along the line the “surge” became a military only operation, which is convenient for the War Party, but hardly an accurate description of what it was laid out to be.
I doubt that the original goals will become part of the narrative at this point, but to say the surge is a success is to stretch the meaning of the word success, much less what it does to the popular understanding of the “truth.”
But truth has never really been a forte of this administration, anymore than the reporting of it has been with the press, but I do think the press could be reformed to reflect some sort of journalistic standards. Accurately reporting teh surge results would be a start, and I know some will say that the lack of political progress has been reported, but that would require me to overlook the fact that false assertions by the War Party to the contrary, or that over generalized statements as to the success of the military operations being one and the same with the political ones have been passed along without any clarification by the press, or in fact without any challenges whatsoever with those assertions.
While it may be in the War Party’s interest to assert such things, their credibility was nil long ago, I fail to see what possible benefit the press derives from debasing their own credibility.
Lot’s of little edits.