Brookings Institute Conference on Iraq
Last April the American Enterprise Institute hosted a triumphal conference to toast victory in the Iraq War, which had been a key project of AEI and other conservatives in the US. On Tuesday, the more liberal Brookings Institute did a different sort of postmortem. Policy wonks who had been to Iraq told their horror stories. The upshot is that
1. The US army’s search and destroy mission in the Sunni Arab heartland is alienating the population needlessly.
2. There is a severe disconnect between the military goals (continued warfare at selected locales) and the goals of the civilian Coalition Provisional Authority (stability and legitimacy throughout the country).
3. The CPA is almost completely out of touch with the Iraqi people.
4. Crime and insecurity are still rampant in Baghdad for Iraqis.
5. Only 60% of attacks on Coalition military forces occur in the Sunni Arab triangle; i.e. nearly half are elsewhere in the country. The military clearly considers the South a dangerous place, as well.