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Iraq: A Progressive Exit Strategy - The Center For American Progress

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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:23 PM
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Iraq: A Progressive Exit Strategy - The Center For American Progress
The Center For American Progress has released a formal - exit strategy.


IRAQ ~ A Progressive Exit Strategy

1,934 U.S. soldiers have died and at least 14,755 soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. Suicide car bombers continue to terrorize Shiite civilians. Sixty-seven percent of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling the war, and 63 percent say they want some or all U.S. troops taken out of Iraq. Yesterday, General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told senators that the number of combat-ready Iraqi battalions has dropped from three to one. Sixty-five percent of Americans think we are spending too much in Iraq, while 64 percent are not confident the money in Iraq is being spent wisely. Despite the bad news, the White House continues its public relations push to keep the American people "updated about the progress" in Iraq. It's time for a new direction. Rather than debate the false choice between stay the course and immediate withdrawal, American Progress Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb and Director of Democracy and Public Diplomacy Brian Katulis have developed a progressive exit strategy that would culminate in the withdrawal of most forces by 2007. Their report also calls for an immediate strategic redeployment of existing forces; "a global communications campaign to counter misinformation and hateful ideologies; new regional diplomatic initiatives; and smarter support for Iraqs renewal." Read more about the problems with the Bush administration's approach and the stronger, progressive alternative.

PRESERVE THE ALL-VOLUNTEER ARMY AND REFOCUS ON REAL THREATS: The United States currently has 149,000 troops in Iraq. When asked yesterday if plans for "fairly substantial reductions" in troop levels were going forward, General Casey told reporters, "It's too soon to tell." If we don't bring troops home soon, the Pentagon will "send many units back to Iraq for a third time and to activate Reserve and Guard forces a second or third time." This move would seriously compromise the all-volunteer Army. Rather than keeping our troops in Iraq indefinitely, the progressive exit strategy calls for the U.S. to "begin a slow and irreversible drawdown of military forces in order to preserve our all-volunteer Army and refocus all elements of American power on the real threats our country faces."

A PLAN FOR SUCCESS: The progressive exit strategy consists of two phases. Phase one would occur in 2006 with the drawdown of 80,000 troops out of Iraq by December 31, 2006. The 60,000 remaining U.S. troops would spend 2007 focused on top priorities such as the training of Iraqi security forces, the tightening of Iraq's border, and the tracking down of insurgents with small Special Forces units. The reduced U.S. troops presence "would be more effective in rooting out the insurgents and terrorist networks." Phase two of the drawdown would begin in 2007, and would leave behind a much smaller military force just sufficient enough "to deal with any major external threats to Iraq."

A PROGRESSIVE EXIT STRATEGY MAKES US SAFER: We need to get our troops out of Iraq for one simple reason - it will make Iraq and our troops more secure. A progressive exit strategy is necessary because "keeping our troops in Iraq is actually attracting and motivating Americas terrorist enemies" and the large presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is "making the difficult compromises necessary to complete Iraqs political transition." Also, Iraqi security forces will never be able to work alone unless we hand them more responsibility for their own security.

BRING THE NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE HOME: The progressive exit strategy would bring the 46,000 Guard and Reserve troops back home to "focus on shoring up gaps in homeland security." They should no longer be stretched thin by their foreign and domestic duties.

More here: Progressive Plan for Iraq


I think this is an approach that most Americans would support.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:27 PM
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1. Adding talking points here:

A Progressive Plan for Iraq and the Fight Against Violent Extremists


September 30 , 2005

The war in Iraq has not made the United States any safer and the Bush administration's complete lack of leadership in bringing this war to a successful conclusion must be addressed. Rather than debate the false choice between stay the course and immediate withdrawal, Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress have developed a progressive strategy for Iraq that re-focuses our strategy on fighting terrorist networks, strengthens and rebuilds US ground forces and creates a reasonable timetable for ending the war successfully in Iraq.

Drawdown 80,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2006 with near total drawdown completed by the end of 2007 and no permanent bases left behind. Rather than keeping our troops in Iraq indefinitely, Korb and Katulis argue that the U.S. should "begin a slow and irreversible drawdown of military forces in order to preserve our all-volunteer Army and refocus all elements of American power on the real threats our country faces." Their strategy consists of two phases. Phase one would occur in 2006 with the drawdown of 80,000 troops out of Iraq by December 31, 2006. The 60,000 remaining U.S. troops would spend 2007 focused on top priorities such as the training of Iraqi security forces, the tightening of Iraq's border, and the tracking down of insurgents with small Special Forces units. Phase two of the drawdown would take place in 2007, and would leave behind a much smaller military force to protect the U.S. embassy and help Iraqi security forces with counterterrorism efforts. The U.S. must also state unambiguously that there will be no permanent bases in Iraq.


Redeployment should bring the National Guard and Reserve troops home immediately and send critical forces to fight terrorists in the Persian Gulf, Asia and Africa. The strategic redeployment plan would bring the 46,000 Guard and Reserve troops back home immediately to "focus on shoring up gaps in homeland security." They should no longer be stretched thin by their foreign and domestic duties and should return the policy of spending no more than one year out of five on active duty. Up to two brigades, about 20,000 troops, would be sent to bolster counterterrorism efforts in places like Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Somalia and Sudan. A smaller contingent will remain in Kuwait to strike any terrorist camps and enclaves throughout the region.

Refocus our diplomatic, communications and reconstruction efforts. Strategic redeployment also requires renewed external efforts to fight violent extremists through other means. Our rhetoric on democracy building must be matched by equally compelling diplomatic and financial commitments to make the transition to democracy a reality.

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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for the recommendation to whomever.
:hi:
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:16 PM
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3. .
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:09 PM
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4. .
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wheresthemind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:06 PM
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5. thanks for posting this...
Hope some people will read the plan before spitting on it, I think this is our ticket in 2006, and thats from a guy who supported Kucinich!
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Wow. Thanks!
Coming from a "Kooch" supporter that means much. ;)

:hi:
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