20 June 2006

What would be best for Iraq's security

I thought that this polling information was insightful. On some issues it seems split right down the center. That pretty much confirms what I have been hearing. Nobody is certain what will happen in Iraq, or for that matter, Afghanistan. Please read on and click the link above for the entire survey. Very good stuff.

War in Iraq
The Atlantic recently asked a group of foreign-policy authorities about the conflict in Iraq

Q: What would be best for Iraq's security and stability over the next two years?

58%: Significantly fewer troops than we have in Iraq today, and less daily interaction with Iraqis
“Iraq would be most stable if a massive presence of U.S. troops brought order to the country, secured the borders, and enabled the Iraqi government to gradually assert its control. However, this would require an increase in the U.S. presence of several hundred thousand troops — and is essentially out of the question. Accordingly, I think we are inevitably headed toward fewer troops in Iraq, and the U.S. should do what it can to help prepare the Iraqi government and army for a diminished U.S. role.”

26%: Significantly more U.S. troops than we have in Iraq today, with a stronger daily presence in Iraq's population centers
“More troops would be better for Iraq, but not necessarily for the U.S., and only if it is clearly understood that the U.S. presence was for a finite period.”

16%: About the same U.S. troop levels and visibility as today
“If we do not shift responsibility to the Iraqis, they will not take it ... and they will blame us for continued division and violence.”

None of the above:
“Iraq’s security and stability can’t be accomplished by just putting troop levels up or down. The key is cutting a political deal that works and drawing down our troops in that context.”

Q: Do you think it is likely that the sectarian violence in Iraq will turn into a sustained, all-out civil war within the next two years?
51%: NO

lots more information at the link above.

PARTICIPANTS (43): Kenneth Adelman, Graham Allison, Ronald Asmus, Samuel Berger, Daniel Blumenthal, Stephen Bosworth, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Daniel Byman, Richard Clarke, Eliot Cohen, Ivo Daalder, James Dobbins, Lawrence Eagleburger, Douglas Feith, Robert Gallucci, Jay Garner, Leslie Gelb, Marc Grossman, John Hamre, Gary Hart, Bruce Hoffman, Robert Hunter, Tony Judt, Robert Kagan, David Kay, Andrew Krepinevich, Charles Kupchan, Anthony Lake, John Lehman, James Lindsay, Jessica Mathews, William Nash, Samuel Nunn, Joseph Nye, Charles Pascual, Thomas Pickering, Kenneth Pollack, Joseph Ralston, Susan Rice, Wendy Sherman, Anne-Marie Slaughter, James Steinberg, Anthony Zinni.

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