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Iraqification

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Iraqification is the term currently being used to identify President George W. Bush's exit strategy from the war on terrorism in Iraq. This terminology is eerily reminescent of Vietnamization of the Vietnam war (aka: changing the color of the corpses).

According to the article "Bush's strategy: get out or risk being thrown out of Washington" by Marian Wilkinson, published in Australia's The Age 1 November 2003, states that a "blurry outline" of Bush's exit plan for Iraq "was revealed this week as the worst violence since the fall of Saddam Hussein exploded in the country."

On Tuesday, October 28:

"Bush flagged his strategy [which] calls for rapidly increasing the Iraqification of the conflict. By Thursday (October 30) Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, were spelling out what this meant. The idea is to push many more Iraqi police and security officials into the front lines against the insurgency while at the same time declaring political victory on the ground."


"After days of being confronted with mounting US casualties, the Administration tried to present Americans with a coherent plan to assure them Iraq will not be Mr Bush's Vietnam. One aim of that plan, it appears, is to start pulling US forces out of Iraq as early as March next year in time for Mr Bush's re-election campaign.
"What the US is going to do, Mr Bush said, is 'implement the strategy which is (to) encourage Iraqis to help deal with the security issues'."

Updates

  • 15 November 2003: "U.S. Is Set to Return Power to Iraqis as Early as June" by Susan Sachs, New York Times: "The Bush administration has agreed to restore independence to Iraq as early as next June, apparently hoping the move will change the perception of the United States as an occupying power and curb the mounting attacks on American forces in the country, Iraqi and American officials said Friday. ... The plan to accelerate the transfer of power was put forward by Iraqi leaders this week, and taken to Washington by L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator in Iraq. Late on Friday, officials said, a newly returned Mr. Bremer hastened to tell members of the Iraqi Governing Council's inner leadership circle that the White House had broadly accepted the plan."
  • 15 November 2003: "The Sabotage of Democracy", New York Times Op-Ed by Reuel Marc Gerecht: "The hastily called conference at the White House involving America's top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, clearly revealed that the Bush administration knows its program in Iraq is failing. The Iraqification of the security forces has not dimmed the rate or deadliness of attacks against coalition troops; the Iraqi Governing Council has willfully stalled the process of drafting a new constitution; a new American intelligence report leaked to the press indicates that Iraqis are increasingly angry with the American presence. ... The administration is now going to grant the Governing Council's wish: it will become more or less an autonomous provisional government. In return, the council has promised to set a timetable for drafting a constitution and holding democratic national elections (although, oddly, the question of which will come first remains up in the air). This new approach, the White House hopes, will make Iraqis feel more responsible for their own fate, and thus more willing to take over security from coalition forces. In sum, the administration that waged a war for democracy now wants an exit strategy that is not at all dependent upon Iraq's democratic progress. ... In fact, the administration's efforts to improve internal security and midwife democracy are now seriously at odds. Where once American officials were sensitive to the need to have political reconstruction precede the re-establishment of a small Iraqi army, they are now rushing Iraqis into uniform, showing no concern about the long history of overgrown security and military forces running roughshod over the country's parliaments and civil traditions. ... Worse, the administration remains convinced that the democratic participation of the Iraqi people in a constitutional assembly would be counterproductive."
  • 15 November 2003: "U.S. to End Iraq Administration by June" by Slobodan Lekic, AP: "American administrators will hand over sovereignty to a new transitional government by June, the Iraqi Governing Council said Saturday, announcing an accelerated U.S. plan for ending the occupation of Iraq."
  • 14 November 2003: "New Urgency, New Risks in 'Iraqification'" by Robin Wright and Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post: "At least four factors forced the administration to overhaul its military and political strategy in Iraq, despite the danger that a new approach might actually diminish U.S. control over the country's future. ... The foremost factor is the security risk -- from an Iraqi opposition that has become more intense, more effective, more sophisticated and more extensive. The other three are the failure of the Iraqi Governing Council to act, the Dec. 15 U.N. deadline for an Iraqi plan of action and the U.S. elections just a year away, according to administration and congressional officials and U.S. analysts."