What’s distressing about the Iraq Study Group is that it appears to be trying to have it both ways:
The ISG agrees that the situation in Iraq is”grave and deteriorating” and that the results of failure in the region would be catastrophic for U.S. interests.
“The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved…
If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe. A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq’s government and a humanitarian catastrophe. Neighboring countries could intervene. Sunni-Shia clashes could spread. Al-Qaida could win a propaganda victory and expand its base of operations.
But at the same time the report holds out hope that the massive job of unshitting the bed in Iraq is consistent with a massive draw down of U.S. military presence.
Most troubling: The report identifies very clearly that our efforts to arm and train the police and the protection forces controlled by the government ministries have equated to U.S. funding of the death squads and sectarian militias that are driving this incipient Civil War.
And they point to the Iraqi army as being equally, if not more, committed to sectarian goals than multi-ethnic national ones. Yet the report is calling on Congress to start arming the ISF to the teeth, while at the same time pulling back U.S. forces, without any recognition that such up armoring could easily make the worst of the civil war even more catastrophic.
What do you think?