Getting out

By BLY LAURITANO-WERNER  |  December 27, 2006

A number of people and groups have come up with ways we could get out of Iraq and leave the country in something somewhat better than complete ruins:

SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN The Democrat from Delaware suggests dividing Iraq into three semiautonomous areas, one each for the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.

REPRESENTATIVE SHERROD BROWN The Ohio Democrat is pushing for the military to devise an “orderly and safe” plan to remove troops from Iraq within the next two years.

BUSH ADMINISTRATION The White House opposes both immediate removal of troops from Iraq, and a date-specific timeline of when American troops will be completely removed from the country. Bush also opposes the Iraq Study Group’s plan for diplomatic outreach to Syria, Israel, and Iran. But new defense secretary Robert Gates may change Bush's mind.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE A former ambassador to the UN, he proposes a phased withdrawal. As in Biden’s plan, Iraq would be separated into three regions for the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis.

INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP The Belgium-based non-governmental organization has called for the UN Security Council’s five permanent members — the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France — plus the countries neighboring Iraq — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Iran — to lend varying degrees of support to a democratic Iraq, but not necessarily the government now in place.

IRAQ STUDY GROUP Their report calls for changing the US military’s combat mission to training Iraqi forces, in hopes that most of the US forces will be gone by the start of 2008. Other terms include working to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict (which the ISG finds very important because, as co-leader Lee Hamilton says, “Everything in the Middle East is connected to everything else”) by having Syria recognize Israel, once Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN The Republican from Arizona advocates increasing the number of American troops in Iraq, which he says will improve the security situation in Baghdad and elsewhere that is killing Iraqi and American soldiers, and Iraqi civilians, nearly every day.

REPRESENTATIVES NANCY PELOSI & JACK MURTHA These Democratic members of Congress (from California and Pennsylvania, respectively) call for the immediate withdrawal of American forces in Iraq, so that all of the troops will be out by the end of 2007.

PENTAGON LEADERS American military officials say boosting troop numbers would increase the number of targets for insurgents to attack, which may offset any improvements in security the extra numbers might bring, and suggest political solutions — either within Iraq or internationally — may be the way to go.

SENATORS JACK REED & CARL LEVIN These Democrats (from Rhode Island and Michigan, respectively) are calling for the removal of US troops within the next few months, saying that will prove to Iraqi leaders that the US presence isn’t indefinite.

Related: Iraq + surge = ???, The Host, When GI Joe says no, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Iraq War, United Nations Security Council, Lee Hamilton,  More more >
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