US Iraq Strategy Failed: Experts

The US strategy in Iraq has failed and needs to be changed with President George W. Bush's "plan for victory" being clouded by a bloody sectarian violence that could lead the country into a deadly civil war, according to American experts.

US Iraq Strategy Failed: Experts

"Those of us who still back the war are worried and alarmed," William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, an early proponent of the Iraq invasion, told The New York Times on Sunday, August 6. "We need to win the war and if it's not going well we need to change strategy," he added. Sectarian violence in Iraq has spiraled to claim perhaps 100 lives a day with tens of thousands fleeing their homes to escape the sectarian hell.

Last week, John Abizaid, the US general heading Middle East operations, warned that Baghdad's descent into chaos could sabotage efforts to rebuild a stable Iraq, more than three years after the US invaded the oil-rich country. The mass-circulation daily said that those two words — civil war — complicated what was already a daunting challenge for the Bush administration in Iraq. It said Abizaid's statement — which did include an assertion that Iraq would ultimately avoid a civil war — represented a tacit acknowledgment that there was no use spinning this conflict and the US public relations campaign to win faltering public support would get no where.

"The long-derided terms like 'greeted as liberators' (Vice President Dick Cheney) and 'cakewalk' (former Reagan arms control official Kenneth L. Adelman), as well as talk of an insurgency in its 'last throes' (Cheney), are a thing of memory." Mosque bombings, assassinations of scholars, sectarian kidnappings and attacks on civilians have increased, as have reports that Iraqi police and army units are agents of the violence, said The New York Times.

Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad warned in a confidential memo to Prime Minister Tony Blair that civil war was "more likely" in Iraq than a transition to stable democracy. Senior Iraqi officials told Reuters last month that there has been serious talk among Iraqi leaders to divide Baghdad into Shiite and Sunni zones to stop sectarian bloodshed. Christopher F. Gelpi, a professor of political science at Duke University, said civil war is a euphemism for defeat.

"'Civil war' is sort of a proxy term for wars we cannot win," said Gelpi. "The problem they're facing is there's only so much their rhetorical strategy can do to reshape public perceptions of the very real events that are out there, and right now those events are very bad when thousands of Iraqis are being killed every month," he added. David Frum, a former speechwriter for Bush and a longtime supporter of the war, said if the US did not change its policy by significantly increasing troop levels, "Baghdad — and therefore central Iraq — will in such a case slide after Basra and the south into the unofficial new Iranian empire."

Then, he predicted, "American troops will be free to stay or go, depending on whether we wish to deny or acknowledge defeat." In the latest New York Times poll, 56 percent of Americans said the US should set a timetable for withdrawal; 33 percent said it should do so even if it means handing Iraq over to "insurgents." US reinforcements rolled into some of the most violent districts of Baghdad on Sunday in a fleet of 17-tonne armored troop carriers as part of a major push to halt Iraq's slide towards civil war. Units of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team deployed in flashpoint districts in the west of the capital, which in recent weeks has seen hundreds of civilians murdered by sectarian death squads. As they arrived, the blasts of two roadside bombs echoed around the city, while security forces recovered 17 corpses across the capital; four Iraqi soldiers and 13 civilians who had been tortured and shot dead.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16