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Baker report on conduct of the Iraq war and options available

Politics / Iraq War Nov 14, 2006 - 12:25 PM GMT

By: John_York


James Baker & Lee Hamilton heading the Iraq Study group commission report on the conduct of the war in Iraq and charged with correcting the US course in Iraq is due to be released by the end of this year. We look ahead at what the report is likely to contain.

Baker report on conduct of the Iraq war and options available

  • To adopt a more multilateral approach to solving Iraq's problems by engaging in talks with neighbour states such as Iran and Syria, also to pursue a wider regional conference to discuss the situation in Iraq.
  • Iraqi government to be given a time table for implementing security goals.
  • US forces to plan to redeploy to neighbouring states such as Saudi Arabia and to large desert bases and used to support Iraqi troops in large operations as the security conditions improve.
  • The United States to NOT to totally withdraw in the foreseeable future, but to stay the course and continue to build Iraqi security infrastructure, as a withdrawal would lead to chaos and potentially civil war.

James Baker is a close ally of the Bush Family and by and large the report is expected to be weak in criticism of the wars operation, seeking to whitewash the current disastrous situation after 3 years of occupation of Iraq. It appears the main aim of the report will be to give the Democratic and Republican parties a chance at a framework for agreement on the policy over Iraq, and thus likely to placate the Democrats.

The Democrats during the election where forefront in the call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq over the next 6 months, this is now likely to change following the report with a more symbolic withdrawal and redeployment within the region.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders are lining up behind legislation that would extend an investigative office that unearthed millions of dollars in waste and fraud associated with the rebuilding of Iraq. The inspector general focused on companies like Halliburton and Bechtel. The problems it found included a proposal by the U.S. Agency for International Development to build a 50 bed pediatric hospital in Basra, for which Congress authorised $50 million. The project, awarded to Bechtel National Inc., became a 94-bed facility with estimated to cost $98 million that won't be finished until July next year, rather than the initial goal of December 2005.

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14 Nov 06, 21:52
Re: Baker report on iraq leaked to the NY Sun

The draft report of the Iraq commission chaired by Howard Baker was leaked to the New York Sun !

Key parts are -

The report has ruled out the prospect of victory for America, according to draft policy options shared with The New York Sun by commission officials.

Currently, the 10-member commission — headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker — is considering two option papers, "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain," both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term.

More telling, however, is the ruling out of two options last month. One advocated minor fixes to the current war plan but kept intact the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections. The second proposed that coalition forces focus their attacks only on Al Qaeda and not the wider insurgency.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting [..] Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, "Stability First," argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

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