The window is closing

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 18 06:46:26 MDT 2003


Postwar Window Closing in Iraq, Study Says
More Funds, International Force Recommended to Improve Security Situation

By Vernon Loeb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 18, 2003; Page A09

A team of outside experts dispatched by the Pentagon to assess security
and reconstruction operations in Iraq reported yesterday that the window
of opportunity for achieving postwar success is closing and requires
immediate and dramatic action by U.S. military and civilian personnel.

The team concluded that the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in
charge of reconstruction efforts is isolated and underfunded, and it
recommended that U.S. officials move immediately to internationalize the
daunting task of rebuilding Iraq, particularly in light of "rising
anti-Americanism in parts of the country."

Amid escalating guerrilla attacks against U.S. forces and mounting
criticism of the Bush administration by Democrats for poor postwar
planning in Iraq, the report represents a comprehensive, independent
assessment of conditions there, both in terms of security and
reconstruction.

"The 'hearts and minds' of key segments of the Sunni and Shi'a
communities are in play and can be won, but only if the Coalition
Provisional Authority and new Iraqi authorities deliver in short order,"
the experts said in 10-page report to Pentagon officials, which they
released at a news conference.

The report noted "significant progress" but said "the next 12 months
will be decisive."

full: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8445-2003Jul17.html

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