US Shifting Strategy in Iraq November 13, 2006Posted by Unreasonable in Matters Political.
Strategic Forecasting recently published an analysis of the current shift in US strategy in Iraq. Their conclusion about the most likely scenario is:
If U.S. forces remain in Iraq — which will be recommended — there will be a shift in their primary mission. Rather than trying to create a secure environment for the Iraqi government, their mission will shift to guaranteeing that Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, do not gain further power and influence in Iraq. Nothing can be done about the influence they wield among Iraqi Shia, but the United States will oppose anything that would allow them to move from a covert to an overt presence in Iraq. U.S. forces will remain in-country but shift their focus to deterring overt foreign intrusion. That means a redeployment and a change in day-to-day responsibility. U.S. forces will be present in Iraq but not conducting continual security operations.
Two things follow from this. First, the Iraqis will be forced to reach a political accommodation with each other or engage in civil war. The United States will concede that it does not have the power to force them to agree or to prevent them from fighting. Second, the issue of Iran — its enormous influence in Iraq — will have to be faced directly, or else U.S. troops will be tied up there indefinitely…
…Of course, publicly acknowledging what has happened is difficult, but the alternative is a continuation of the current strategy — also difficult. Bush has few painless choices.
Unfortunately, They also pointed out the critical moment to avoid an Iraqi civil war when it was approaching and then passing several months ago.
The article is not available on their website for free, but I think you should be able to read it here.
Strategic Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor) describes itself as a private intelligence agency. Barron’s described them as a shadow CIA. Individuals can subscribe to their reports for $350/year, or John Maudlin readers can sign up for $200 using this link. They also email some reports for free if you sign up to receive them.