13 November 2006

What Next?

What kind of change can we expect in the US's Iraq policy, after the mid-term polls and Rumsfeld's departure? George W Bush is still the President and the Commander-in-Chief for the next two years. So any change in the approach in Iraq is entirely in his hands. Will he be more flexible and open minded? Is he prepared to redefine "success in Iraq"?

There won't be any shortage of inputs. The new Defence Secretary was CIA Director under Bush Sr, so he should have some ideas. The Democrats are calling for a phased withdrawal/redeployment of troops over the next 18-24 months. Some of them are talking about "keeping troops in the region but not in Iraq", which seems a little bizarre to me. The Baker-Hamilton Committee might submit its report next month. That will be more comprehensive and coherent. But they seem to be pinning too much hope on some plan that involves Iraq's neighbours (including Iran and Syria).

Perhaps Dubya should ignore all this noise and just read Fareed Zakaria's article in Newsweek, which gives a realistic and sensible analysis of the situation - and a way out.

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