Saturday, December 02, 2006

ASTONISHING: Rumsfeld's last Iraq memo echoes peace activists plans

The timing of Rumsfeld's resignation was something of a head scratcher since it was too late to help Republicans in the midterm elections, and Bush had just recently said Rummy would be in place until the end of his term.

This memo, delivered two days before he resigned, could be the reason.

While he divides the options into two groups, and puts withdrawal in the group of less desirable options, that's the same place he puts aggressively ramping up operations and going after insurgents in Baghdad.

Elements of his plan sound remarkably similar to Juan Cole's idea to pull troops out of populated cities, but still be in a position to guard access to oil (which Rummy is not honest enough to say).

The bottom line on his "desirable" options seems to be defining success downward. For example, he said whichever options are tried should be declared as tentative, so if they change it won't look like a loss, and that our goals and mission should be redefined in a "minimalist" way.

It's funny how people in the Bush administration always do their best work just as the Tard's boot is kicking their ass out the door.


The New York Times

December 3, 2006

Rumsfeld’s Memo of Options for Iraq War [from Nov. 6, 2006]

[more desirable]

  • Withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions — cities, patrolling, etc. — and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance.
  • Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start “taking our hand off the bicycle seat”), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.
  • Provide money to key political and religious leaders (as Saddam Hussein did), to get them to help us get through this difficult period.
  • Initiate a massive program for unemployed youth. It would have to be run by U.S. forces, since no other organization could do it.
  • Announce that whatever new approach the U.S. decides on, the U.S. is doing so on a trial basis. This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not “lose.”

[less desirable]

  • Continue on the current path.
  • Move a large fraction of all U.S. Forces into Baghdad to attempt to control it.
  • Set a firm withdrawal date to leave. Declare that with Saddam gone and Iraq a sovereign nation, the Iraqi people can govern themselves. Tell Iran and Syria to stay out.

FULL TEXT in New York Times

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