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Bush administration seems to give up original plans for democracy, freedom and security in Iraq

According to Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer, writing in The Washington Post, senior administration officials admit that their plans for Iraq were unrealistic

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad. The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning." (...)

And women's rights will not be as firmly entrenched as Washington has tried to insist, U.S. officials and Iraq analysts say. "We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. (...)

Washington now does not expect to fully defeat the insurgency before departing, but instead to diminish it, officials and analysts said. There is also growing talk of turning over security responsibilities to the Iraqi forces even if they are not fully up to original U.S. expectations, in part because they have local legitimacy that U.S. troops often do not.

Perhaps these officals are not completely giving up on Iraqi democracy, freedom and security, but just try to lower expectations in order to present the Iraq project as a success, when the US leaves.


Atlantic Review on : Iraq: Is the US giving up?

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Numerous opinion polls indicate that more and more Americans are critical of the US government's job in Iraq, consider the war a mistake and demand a withdrawal of the troops. 14,641 members of the US military have been wounded and 1,911 have been killed.

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Chr.B on :

Great blog! Gideon Rose, the managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, shares this assessment. In the IHT he wrote a piece called "The Bush administration gets real." Well, it's about time. >>In practice, the Bush administration has recently begun to pursue interests rather than ideals and conciliation rather than confrontation. First-term foreign policy hardliners like John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith have moved to jobs outside Washington or left the administration entirely. The State Department has regained the ear of the White House and won support for repairing relations with Europe and negotiating with Iran and North Korea. And the Pentagon, overextended and trapped in a grueling counterinsurgency, has taken to rehashing Kerry campaign rhetoric about the limited utility of military force, lowered its expectations in Iraq and sent up trial balloons about withdrawal. The only people not to have gotten the memorandum, it seems, are the president and vice president, who feebly insist that the "war on terror" remains a useful concept and that everything in Iraq is going just fine.

Chris on :

Today, reports are that Islam will be a "main source" for law in the constitution. Other reports state that Sunnis see Federalism for Shiites as a power play by Iran. Another report says Kurds may give up right to secede. In any case, tomorrow's a very big day.

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