sexta-feira, janeiro 19, 2007

Withdrawal is not an option

"The disenchantment of the American public with the burdens it has borne alone for nearly four years has generated growing demands for some form of unilateral withdrawal. But under present conditions, withdrawal is not an option.
American forces are indispensable. They are in Iraq not as a favor to its government or as a reward for its conduct. They are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend.
An abrupt American departure will greatly complicate efforts to help stem the terrorist tide far beyond Iraq; fragile governments from Lebanon to the Gulf will be tempted into pre-emptive concessions. It might drive the sectarian conflict within Iraq to genocidal dimensions.
Graduated withdrawal would not ease these dangers until a different strategy is in place and shows some progress. For now, it would be treated both within Iraq and in the region as the forerunner of a total withdrawal. President Bush's decision should therefore be seen as the first step toward a new grand strategy relating power to diplomacy for the entire region, ideally on a nonpartisan basis.The purpose of the new strategy should be to demonstrate that America is determined to remain relevant to the outcome in the region; to adjust U.S. military deployments and numbers to emerging realities; and to provide the maneuvering room for a major diplomatic effort to stabilize the region.
Two levels of diplomatic effort are necessary:
The creation of a contact group, assembling neighboring countries whose interests are directly affected and which rely on American support. This group should include Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Its function should be to advise on ending the internal conflict and to create a united front against outside domination.
Parallel negotiations should be conducted with Syria and Iran, which now appear as adversaries, to give them an opportunity to participate in a peaceful regional order.
Both categories of consultations should lead to an international conference including all countries that will have to play a stabilizing role in the eventual outcome, specifically the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as such countries as Indonesia, India and Pakistan.
Henry Kissinger, "Withdrawal is not an option" in International Herald Tribune, 18 de Janeiro de 2006 (via Bloguitica).


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