Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Iraq: The exit strategy
Great article in the Foreign Relations magazine regarding the US' strategy in Iraq and possible exit strategies. It's written by James Dobbins, who is Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at Rand, and also was a U.S. Special Envoy in Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, and Afghanistan.

"American forces have lost the support of the Iraqi population and probably cannot regain it. The insurgency can be defeated only by Iraqi forces under Iraqi leadership, and only to the degree that those forces can dramatically reduce their dependence on the United States. Military operations should be governed by a counterinsurgency strategy emphasizing pacification--that is to say, priority should be given to securing the civilian population, not hunting down insurgents. In the end, insurgencies are defeated not by killing insurgents, but by winning the support of the population and thus denying the insurgents both refuge and recruits."

Read it here.