Iraq Study Report, Well Intentioned, But With Shortcomings
The Iraq Study Report by 10 senior Republican and Democratic statespersons was a well intentioned 150 page reprt intended to find some solutions to one of the worst foreign polocy messes this country has ever become bogged down in, but had some obvious shortcomings.
This study group comprised well intentioned persons such as former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, former Attorney General Edwin Meese, among others, but outside of former Secretary Of State, James Baker, few had much foreign policy experience. But even more lacking was any member with a background in MidEast history, Muslim religion or culture, or military experience. Essentially 10 well intentioned former members of previous administrations and others attempted to offer a bipartisan approach to the Iraq problem, but the lack of essential experience in critical areas only limits the overall usefulness of this report.
The report for example is nesrly naive in calling for some sort of negitiations with Syria and Iran over Iraq without seeking some viable concessions on issues such as seeking both accepting the right of Israel to exist, or placing the future of the Iranian nuclear program on the negotiation table. What putpose does it serve for the U.S. to invest $400 billion in the Iraq War effort, and lose more than 2,900 lives and have another 21,000 wounded only to allow Iran and Syria to reap the spoils of a weakened state that could become a satellite or puppet state of an Iranian-Syrian controlled empore that extends the width of the entire MidEast. A powerful nuclear armed Iranian empire of friendly states only promises to allow for a future security threat to little Israel, only 11 miles wide at it's most narrow point. Israel does have some land that it can return to Syria for a peace agreement, and Iran can only be included in any negotiations if they are willing to bring something worthwhile to the table. But many other states such as Jordan, Eygpt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain also have a stake in MidEast peace and are far more responsible states. Well these should not the first to be included in any MidEast peace talks is a good question.
Another problem is that while the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops is the ultimate goal, without American air powewer, satellite and high tech military intelligence and advanced weapons, the government of Iraq would soon fall to any powerful militia organization. In fact even with all of the American help the government of Iraq could fall to a militia group coup anyway. It may alreadt be too late to salvage anything good from the continued mission other than to police the nation enough to prevent even worse sectarian killing.
There appears to be little real solutions to the sectarian violence that has waged for about 1,300 years of Shiite and Sunni sectarian infighting. Or that up to 70% of Iraqi police units are infiltrsted by militia group members, or that both the Iraqi police and military are so poorly equipped that only U.S. and British troops really have the firepower to somewhat police Iraq. Sectsrian violence is now so bad that opposing Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods now fire rockets and mortsars at each others' neighborhoods each night over the Tigres River in Baghdad, with no one including the U.S. effectively stemming this violence. Some American soldiers now tell reporters that either the Sunni or Shiite fighters will eventually win control of Iraq, that sectarian violence will not stop.
So maybe the best feature of the Iraq Study Report is that will President Bush some political cover to change Iraq policy if he is not too stubborn to do so, but for most other Americans it attempts some sort of bipartisan consensus to seek a way out of problem that only worsens by the day, and will unfortunately only end with a greatly strengthened Iran setting up for the next bigger MidEast conflict played out with nuclear weapons. 10 decent former statesmen probably spent their time on a report that will ultimately achieve little for MidEast peace and prevent the slow slide towards regional instability and a huge regional war with Israel and Iranian ally states.