Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Before the Speech

It is about 30 minutes before President Bush speaks. A few preliminary thoughts from the opening statements at a Senate Foreign relations committee hearing.

Not only has Iraq undergone a radical change in its leadership, it has undergone a radical shift – again – in the form of its government. And the men and women who are at the helm in Iraq are those who spent years in opposition to the former regime, many outside the country.

The occupying foreign soldiers and civilians destroyed the only two national groups that, other then the brutal dictator and his henchmen, could unify the country: the bureaucracy and the army, leaving Iraq a failed or at least a failing state.

Three possible outcomes loom: break-up resulting from continued militia activity; break-down into smaller political units that will cause increased instability regionwide; a gradual halt to breakdown – from two to ten or more years.

After all, developing good public policy without a sound strategy is very difficult. Just consider how much harder it is to create good public policy with bad strategy – or no strategy.


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