US & UK seek an Exit Strategy

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Oct 21, 2006.

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  1. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    If one can get hold of the "Defence Policy Guidelines" inspired by Dick Cheney (when he was the Secretary of Defence) and the National Energy Policy (formulated by the Cheney Energy Task Force) , one would understand why the US went into Iraq.

    Basically, it meant the following:

    1. Shift from the strategy of containing the USSR to addressing specific areas of interest.

    2. Break the OPEC since it was affecting the economy. This could be done by influencing the oil supply from a major source so as to smash the monopoly the OPEC to manipulate the supply of oil and the world oil prices.

    3. To have a base in the Middle East wherein the deployment of forces to the potential turbulent areas of Asia and Central Asia would become cost effective.

    4. To ensure the safety of routes of oil supply from the Middle East, and also its oilfields

    5. To ensure the safety of the oil routes being newly developed by the US oil cartel from the Caspian to Europe and to Turkey.

    6. Influence the Central Asian Republics (CAR) and squeeze the boundaries and influence of Russia further North.

    7. Lean on to China from the West through Kazakhstan. Also to keep a check on the pipeline from CAR to China.

    To this effect, the various colours of the rainbow and flowers revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia are cases in point too. The fact is that in Ukraine the tables have been turned and in Georgia problems run riot. These should not have happened given the 'spontaneous and massive' uprisings. Popular movements of the magnitude witnessed should have borne the problems with a patient shrug given the freedom obtained.

    Likewise, Afghanistan.

    As per the National Intelligence Estimates, China and India would be oil guzzlers and the market potential was immense. Thus, the oil pipeline from CAR through Afghanistan to Pakistan's Gwadar port. This would boost the sagging US economy.

    That is why Pakistan, which had both the terrorists (and indeed the terrorist spawning factories) and WMD did not feature in Bush's rationale for War on Terror wherein WMD and terrorists were the key ingredients that had to be focused on!

    As far as the exit strategy, the short answer is that it will still be a long haul or else the terrorist will be jubilant that they have defeated TWO Superpowers of the world and Islam will conquer the world. Terrorism will then become rampant, more barbarically ingenuous and the world will become a very dangerous place.

    Lesson for the Future: Let the Mind rule Supreme when the Heart wants to overrule!
  2. Ah yes, the Foregn Office pleads with the axis of evil to get them out of the s**t. The ultimate irony.
    From the same newspaper

    The eight options: what Washington and London are discussing

    1 British out now

    One of the British diplomats involved in talks on Iraq policy said the UK, which has responsibility for the south of Iraq, "could go tomorrow almost ... It would not look pretty, but it is doable".

    Against British diplomats pinpoint three problems if the UK was to pull out immediately. One would be political: the US would not welcome being left virtually alone. The second is military: the US would no longer have a dependable force in the south. The third is security: without British forces in place, fighting between the various militia groups and the criminal gangs in Basra and elsewhere would intensify.

    For The British presence is part of the problem. If Basra, Amara and other places were to disintegrate after British forces leave, the FCO hopes Shia religious leaders and Iran, which has influence over the Shia, could quickly establish stability.

    Likelihood Not being seriously considered yet. Halving British forces next summer, with further reductions later on, is still the likeliest outcome.

    2 US coalition out now

    "We could pull out now and leave them to their fate," a Foreign Office official said. "But the place could implode." The advantage of this option would be to cut short the agony.

    Against A premature pull-out could precipitate an even more ferocious civil war. Faced with world outrage over the level of human rights abuses and carnage, the US might then have to consider going back in circumstances even worse than before.

    For The presence of US forces is making things worse. The insurgency would lose its patriotic justification. A pull-out might force the Iraqi parties and security forces to work together or face a descent into anarchy.

    Likelihood Such an early exit is unlikely. It would be an unpalatable humiliation for the Bush administration and most of its critics agree that a hasty withdrawal could ultimately oblige the troops to go back.

    3 Phased withdrawal

    This is the present policy, but any pull-out is contingent on Iraq developing its own security forces. But there are increasing calls in Washington and London for a timetable. A Foreign Office official said: "The date might possibly have to be secret." Otherwise it could encourage insurgents to step up attacks. During this stage, the US could pour in money for employment programmes.

    Against The risk of agreeing a secret date with the Iraqi government is that, as with much else in Iraq, the date would probably leak out anyway.

    For The prospect of the removal of its security blanket might force the Iraqi government to face up to the many issues it ignores at present, such as the rise in sectarian violence. It also allows more time for training the Iraqi army and trying to train and reform the police force, a policy that has so far proved to be slower than coalition forces had hoped.

    Likelihood Still the likeliest option.

    4 Talk to Iran and Syria

    There appears to have been virtual consensus in the Baker commission for talks with Iraq's two most difficult neighbours on the grounds that they must ultimately want stability but will not pursue it while excluded from negotiations. The FCO, which has an embassy in Tehran, is pushing for engagement too.

    Against Iran and Syria could make demands in return for help that the Bush administration would find hard to accept. Iran would, at a minimum, demand that the US stop calling for regime change. Syria could urge the US to put pressure on Israel to return the Golan Heights, lost in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. There is some question over whether either country could stop sectarian killings.

    For Whatever the limitations of their influence, the bloodshed is only likely to worsen until they are brought on board.

    Likelihood There may be too much resistance in the Bush administration to direct talks, but the US could well give the nod to negotiations between a sovereign Iraq and its powerful neighbours.

    5 Iraqi strongman

    The US and British governments have been disappointed so far with Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's elected prime minister who took over earlier this year, mainly over the reluctance of his Shia-dominated coalition to tackle Shia death squads. Washington and London could press for his replacement with a strongman at the head of a junta, such as Ayad Allawi, the interim prime minister from 2004-05 - and roll back democracy.

    Against Ousting a democratic government, with its carefully crafted constitution, would amount to a scandalous policy failure. "I do not see that as an option for western democracies," a British official said. Allawi is treated with suspicion by religious Shias because he is secular and detested by Sunnis because he presided over the attack on Falluja.

    For Only a strong, secular Iraqi leader could break the sectarian deadlock and broker the kind of compromises over oil and regional autonomy that are essential to prevent civil war and keep the country together.

    Likelihood Not likely.

    6 Break-up of Iraq

    Iraq is moving towards a federal model that could result in its break-up. The Kurdish area to the north is virtually autonomous anyway. The Shia-dominated area stretching from Basra in the south to the holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf further north could form another bloc, leaving the Sunnis with much of the west and centre - mostly oil-free desert. Advocates of such partition talk about using coalition forces to escort minority populations across the ethnic divides to streamline the partition and working out a fair revenue-sharing formula for oil.

    Against The break-up would leave a power vacuum in the region, which Iran, Syria and Turkey could exploit. The partition of Iraq would not be easy. Baghdad, which has huge Sunni and Shia communities, could explode.

    For The sectarian killings are creating de facto partition. Military escorts for civilians displaced by the violence would at least reduce the death toll.

    Likelihood Events on the ground may make it inevitable.

    7 Redeploy & contain

    There are two variations. One is for US forces to leave populated areas and retreat to "super-bases" in the desert from where they could support Iraqi forces - something the army has already begun. An alternative would be for the US forces to move out of Iraq altogether and use bases in nearby countries.

    Against "Super-bases could be the worst of both worlds," argues Larry Diamond, a former adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority. The troops would be too cut off from the streets to have much impact, but they would remain foreign occupiers. It could be difficult to persuade other Arab countries to provide bases, and once out, it will be harder going back. It could also be perceived as cutting and running.

    For US forces would no longer be in the firing line and with them gone, the motivation for many of the insurgents might evaporate. They would still be at hand to prop up the elected government.

    Likelihood Quite possible in the short term as the US tries to stem its casualties, but unlikely as a lasting solution.

    8 One last push

    This would involve an increase of troops in the short term in the hope of creating sufficient security to deliver economic gains and create confidence in the Iraqi government. This roughly is Senator John McCain's preferred option, but might also appeal to Mr Bush as it would not immediately require a policy U-turn.

    Against It might be too late to curb the escalating violence and it would be politically unpalatable at home. It could leave even more US forces stuck in the middle of a civil war.

    For Military experts have long said there are not enough coalition forces in Iraq to seal the borders against infiltration and stamp out sectarian killings. It would be a sign of backing for the Baghdad government and would force sectarian leaders to take it more seriously.

    Likelihood A final gamble by Mr Bush is not to be discounted. Senator McCain is a presidential frontrunner for 2008, but by then Iraq may look very different.
  3. Rayc
    So much of that makes sense to me.
    Oil above all oil.
    The Secure Base checks with the building of the largest US Embassy worldwide.
    And this creation of a US sphere of Influence in Roosha and China's back yard.
    Makes far more sense then he tried ta kill my Pappy.
    Or Weapons of Mass destrution with which to threaten Europe let alone the US of A.
    Cheney always considered him one of the Puppet Masters that operate King George.
  4. It still astonished me that 'Plan A', if such there was, seems to have been 'create stable, flourishing democracy' and withdraw.

    The examples of Central and Eastern Europe post-1989 showed that you can't just impose a 'scaffolding' of constitutional arrangments and voting opportunities but that a 'civil society' has to emerge first.

    Who was it who said that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them?
  5. .

    Well, I don't know, they have a fellow languishing in prison who has a proven record as a Strong Secular Leader.. :D
  6. Took 'em four years to figure out an exit strategy was necessary.Wow.

    Can just picture Bush in a converastion with Rumsfeld.

    "Yo Rummy, how's that exit strategy thingy coming along?"

    "Working on it, Mr President, although I seem to be having a problem with al Maliki."

    "Al who?"

    "The Iraqi prime minister."

    "Can't you bomb him or something?What time is it Rummy?"

    "9 PM Sir."

    "Way past me sleepy time.Seen Laura?No?I'm off to bed Rummy.Trying to finish that story 'My Pet Goat.' That Shakespeare guy was a pretty good writer."

    "Yes Mr President."

    "High five Rummy.I'm out."
  7. I told you so. I look forward to the Iraqi Government's comments over the next 14 days.
  8. They have a goverment in Iraq?