19 December 2006

Iraq Study Group

Lindsey Beyerstein of Majikthise offers quick critique of the Iraq Study Group's report.
Spencer Ackerman has an excellent analysis of the sober wishywashiness of the Iraq Study Group:
The trouble is that the Iraq Study Group is ultimately providing false hope for an extended war. Its assessment is appropriately bleak. For example, “Key Shia and Kurdish leaders,” the commission finds, “have little commitment to national reconciliation.” Now, given that these leaders comprise the Iraqi government, one might think that would lead to the conclusion that Iraq is doomed to an intensifying sectarian conflict, and unless one believes it is in the United States' interest to pick a side in someone else's civil war, that means it's time to go home. Instead, the commission, despite its own better judgment in its report, is gearing up for what Hamilton called “one last chance at making Iraq work.” It's hard to see what's responsible about this.
Essentially, the ISG recommends that the US continue the same strategy that we've been pursuing since the beginning of the occupation: Training Iraqi security forces. The report issues the seemingly bold suggestion that by 2008, Iraqi troops should replace US combat troops, and that US troops should shift to providing force protection for Americans training Iraqis. In other words this blue ribbon commission is demanding that our failed strategy start working better, and fast.
Still, I have to respect that the first sentence of the report reads:
The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.
Although what does it say about American discourse about Iraq that this simple, frank admission of fact is exciting?

No comments: