Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Beginning To Close The Deal On Victory In Iraq.

Critics of the liberation of Iraq complain that the war there is unwinnable and without strategic purpose. The agenda for talks next year between the United States and the elected Iraqi government suggests an answer to both complaints. A declaration signed by President George Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
"calls for the U.N. mandate to be extended one year and then replaced at the end of 2008 by a bilateral pact governing the economic, political and security aspects of the relationship." (Here.)
That would be a bilateral pact between the United States and Iraq. The pact between the two countries envisions Iraqi agreement to
"a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership. ... Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.

"Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the new negotiations will provide benefits for both countries.

"For Iraq, he said, 'it means a clear definition of the relationship and also some security guarantees that the U.S. will protect the political system and constitution until we build our forces and troops.'"
Four years ago when the United States undertook to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Iraq was ruled by a murderous dictator hostile to our interests. Now Iraq has an elected government interested in establishing a long-term security partnership with the United States.

Whether an Iraqi-American security partnership will happen remains an open question, but if it does, that's what victory will look like. (The New York Sun has more analysis here.)

-tdr

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