Stratfor.com (a sort of ‘private CIA’) released this special report on Iraq last week, a fascinating look at the underlying dynamics of recent shifts (and, I would say, ongoing policy failure) in Iraq.
This proposal, advanced by Care2.com, fits well with the Stratfor analysis:
Senator Joseph Biden and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, have proposed their plan to President Bush and the Council on Foreign Relations. Biden and Gelb have sent a message to our leaders that ending the conflict in Iraq does not need to involve deploying more U.S. troops.
The only way to hold Iraq together and create the conditions that allow our armed forces to responsibly withdraw is to give Shiites, Sunis, and Kurds incentives to pursue their interests peacefully and to forge a sustainable political settlement.
Biden and Gelb outlined how this can be done through the following five steps:
1. Maintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it in to regions. A central government would be left in charge of common interests.
2. Guarantee Sunis a fair share of oil revenue so that each group has an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.
3. Create a massive job program while increasing reconstruction aid – especially from the oil-rich Gulf states. This job program would be tied to the protection of minority rights.
4. Hold an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.
5. Begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007.
This plan is consistent with Iraq’s constitution and has been endorsed by many experts on Iraq. It will help rebuild the country while bringing our troops home. Sign the petition here, to tell President Bush to support the Biden-Gelb five-point plan.
Care2.com is, itself, a remarkable place for connecting with issues and people in ways that can make a difference.