Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Iraq Study Group Report

WARNING: I am about to attempt to put a SHOULD on you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It seems reasonable to me, in light of the fact that our government has spent 400 Billion of our dollars creating the current disaster zone in Iraq, that every American should read through the Iraq Study Group Report. It's only 160 pages. If you can't read the whole thing, at least read the letters from the co-chairs and the executive summary, which are pages 4-8, and the recommendations, which are from pages 33 to 62. Surely it's the least we can do to try to get a bit outside our Fox/CNN news, insular American heads. I suspect most of you will not do this. You'd rather go watch the football game, or whatever. Typical ugly americans, the lot of you. (my sincere apologies to all my non-american readers. I don't mean you.)

Here it is: The Iraq Study Group Report

My overall impression: 2 things:
1. The guys who wrote this report are bordering-on-insanely hopeful
2. Reading this report helps one to begin to get an understanding of just how much "we" bit off in the decision to invade iraq, and just how difficult the chewing has been and will continue to be.

A couple quotes:

There is no action the American military can take that, by itself, can bring about success in Iraq
While it is clear that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is moderating the violence, there is little evidence that the long-term deployment of U.S. troops by itself has led or will lead to fundamental improvements in the security situation.
U.S. military forces, especially our ground forces, have been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the repeated deployments in Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead and more than 21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruiting, and accelerated wear on equipment.
The number of refugees and internally displaced persons within Iraq is increasing dramatically.
All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by Americans’ lack of
language and cultural understanding.

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