Friday, August 26, 2005

Wes Clark on Iraq 

Wesley Clark has a column in today's Washington Post on his suggestions for the strategy needed in Iraq. It's an interesting read, and I agree in theory with most of what he says.

I do find some of his answers lacking sufficient explanation of justification or funding, such as his statement that "Ten thousand Arab Americans with full language proficiency should be recruited to assist as interpreters." Assuming the government could find that many Arab Americans willing to serve, where will the funds come from to pay them, and where will the personnel (and the funding to support them) come from that are needed to support this corps of interpreters?

I also found his solution to the constitutional issues a bit arrogant in his assumption that they would be accepted:
"On the political side, the timeline for the agreements on the Constitution is less important than the substance of the document. It is up to American leadership to help engineer, implement and sustain a compromise that will avoid the "red lines" of the respective factions and leave in place a state that both we and Iraq's neighbors can support. So no Kurdish vote on independence, a restricted role for Islam and limited autonomy in the south. And no private militias."

Easy enough to say, but clearly not easy to get approved.

But overall, I find his framework with an emphasis on equal efforts in diplomacy, military and politics to be logical, and would have been helpful had the administration been following something similar from the get go.

He'll be online at the Washington Post today at 2 pm Eastern time to discuss his ideas. You can submit questions and comments before or during the discussion, and the transcript will be available later.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:43 PM