Saturday, January 06, 2007

Plan B for Iraq: the Bosnian Model?

Until I saw criticism of Senator Biden's comments that Bush is running out the clock on Iraq, I didn't realize that it was controversial, it seems so obvious to me. These guys have never had a real plan and they won't take advice, so that whole thing's an exercise in futility.

The Christian Science Monitor has a piece on how we might move forward in Iraq, essentially with a forced migration and ethnic separation policy.

[S]ome experts in Washington are looking beyond the question of US troop levels to what might happen if worst-case scenarios come true. Call it Plan B: How the United States might handle Iraq's partition....

[E]vents in Iraq now may be running at a speed that outpaces the US ability to respond....

[Some] experts, including Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, have been increasingly vocal in calling for the US to help Iraqis resettle in areas of safety....

Resettled refugees might, in the end, blame America for their plight. The US could be accused of abetting ethnic cleansing. All plausible, says O'Hanlon of Brookings - but the problem is, the ethnic cleansing is happening anyway. The question, therefore, is really a humanitarian one: How to save lives?

In a recent piece titled "A Bosnia Option for Iraq," published in the journal American Interest and co-authored with Edward Joseph, a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, O'Hanlon proposes a "soft partition" of Iraq....

Ethnic relocation may be distasteful, but with Sunni insurgents and Shiite death squads now attacking even hospitals and schools, what is the alternative?

"If US and Iraqi forces cannot protect civilians, there is little moral dilemma about facilitating their movement to safer areas," says the article....

The key to making the relocation work might be a division of oil money. It should be split a number of ways, the article says, with individuals, provinces, and the overall government receiving allocations.

"The Bosnia option has a much higher chance of success than anything resembling current strategy ... although I can still see the case for one last big push [with more US troops]," says O'Hanlon.

Other experts say that a surge in troops will serve a purpose only if tied to a comprehensive approach of bringing stability and security to Iraq. |CSM|
I think forced migration is a lot more likely to succeed than Bush and McCain's surge strategy.

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