Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group

Well the report finally issued by the Iraq Study Group.

I find the conclusions interesting and odd. Why an emphasis on Iran helping out so much? In truth Iran has more to gain from Iraq in chaos then a stable unified nation that could become again a rival to its dominance in the region. A stable Iraq backed up with possibly billions of dollars a year in US military aid could not possibly be in Iran's best interest. So what is?

The splintering of Iraq. Some of Iraq's major players who are allied with Iran are calling for the division of the country and if that happens the Shiites would probably get more then half of Iraq's current territory and its oil rich south. This would leave the enemies of Tehran with control of the much poorer center and west and give Iran total and unquestioned regional dominance. Its possible that after a time the south could choose to merge with Iran, making it all the stronger. So I see little interest in Iran choosing to help us out with anything and that's assuming they could even help us out at all. The Shiites themselves seem to be splintering into competing factions and it seems the government has lost control over the very factions they are supposed to rule over.

The groups conclusions about training the Iraqi forces also is quite odd considering the administration has been saying that is its main goal for quite some time. The problem is if you are training and arming people who turn their weapons on each other then whats the use? It may be far too late to assume that a much greater emphasis on this is the answer to the problems only because they seem to have lost the ability to know the loyalties of the people they are training.

Getting out may be the only answer and it really pains me to write this. An exit by our forces will mean full scale civil war and many more dead Iraqi people, but there may be no other option at this point. A civil war that will probably lead to the partition of the country down sectarian lines. This leads me to conclude that they should start to consider the radical idea of helping to partition the country now and as peacefully as possible with some sort of negotiated settlement before we pullout. This may be the only option left sadly.

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