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View Diary: Joementum in Iraq (144 comments)

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  •  Edwards Plan (4.00)
    "A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing American presence; building Iraq's capacity; and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help.

    First, we need to remove the image of the imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

    We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections and a new government has been created, we should begin the redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq.

    Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces. That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country.

    Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. [did you hear that contractors are grossly exagerating success in training ratess -- on NPR ATC yesterday, more outsourcing disasters]  We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule outlining that as we certify that Iraqi troops are trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will withdraw.

    Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet. It's not just in America's security interest for Iraq to succeed, but the world's -- and the President needs to create a unified international front.

    Too many mistakes have already been made to make this easy. Yet we must take these steps to succeed. The American people, the Iraqi people and -- most importantly -- our troops who have died or been injured there and those who are fighting there today deserve nothing less.

    America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. Over 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war; and over 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out."

    Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

    by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:48:00 AM PST

    •  You really like Edwards, don't you? (none)
      His plan sounds reasonable, but it doesn't strike me as being very different from what most other democrats are proposing.

      It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain

      by Bundy on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:59:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh .... yea (none)
        Ya caught me.   We're both economic populists, I love his biography and campaign abilities, I think he's real and comes off that way, I think he can win, and I think he's got a fantastic knowledge of the big picture (like the commons and patriotism vs. privatization and materialism).

        But on the plan I think it's realistic and would get us (at least largely) out of Iraq in 1-1.5 years.

        1. Attack on corruption.  Ding ding.
        2. "early next year, after the Iraqi elections and a new government has been created, we should begin the redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq."  
          Guess what folks, that's a deadline.
          But, unlike Murtha who relies on the mythical power of the airforce against insurgents, he realistically knows we've got to have some boots on the ground for a while.
        3.  "That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country."
        That's the realistic part, we can give it one more year to see if we can win Sunnis over into the process and prevent a full-scale civil war and the formation of an anti-American Rump Iraq with ties to terrorists who want to kill us.

        4.  We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule outlining that as we certify that Iraqi troops are trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will withdraw.
        That's a HARD DEADLINE (but still with some, but limited flexibility.

        5.  "Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet."
          Yea, diplomacy, UNization and NATOization!!
          The way we should have done it in the first place.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:11:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a fundamental (none)
          flaw in this plan. Iraqi forces won't be able to replace American troops militarily in short term and by short term I mean 4-5 years. they just won't considering violence has only increased over past year and has shown no sign of dwindling down. It is a good plan on paper but fails the Iraq reality test.
          •  Two Possible Answers (none)
            1.  It's all about the politics, none of this will be implimented anyway.

            2.  Word is Iraqi Army is getting a bit better as of late and it's "proportional" number not "equal" number.

            Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

            by philgoblue on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 09:34:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sure Iraqi (none)
              army is getting better with training but every account of training I have read and every account of numbers of troops trained I have come across tells me that they just won't be ready to take control of a 26 million strong ethnically-divided country in less than 4-5 years. Bremer fucked up when he dissolved the Iraqi army. You just can't create a well-trained army with a well-defined command structure overnight. It just can't be done and I'm talking about the best case scenario that we are actually training an Iraqi National Army and not just proxies for Shiite and Kurdish militias.
      •  yea we do like Edwards (none)
        and other Democrats (like who?) probably do say the same things Edwards says in his plan. Whats your point?
        •  I think (none)
          you're reading too much into my comment. I was talking specifically to philgoblue, who I've noticed has repeated talked up Edwards' withdrawl plans.

          I'm not trying to pick any fights here. I'm just happy that most democrats are talking about an exit strategy. The details of when and in what order seem less important since we're not in a position to implement policy anyway.

          It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain

          by Bundy on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 11:11:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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