Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review Slideshow
The Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review Slideshow is now available on the White House website in PDF format. It’s a PowerPoint style presentation.
The most interesting piece is Slide 7, Key Assumptions:
I’m not sure that all the new assumptions are more accurate than the old ones–or even that they are all “assumptions.”
I especially think, “Political progress will help defuse the insurgency and dampen levels of violence” is a more helpful starting point than, “While political progress, economic gains, and security are intertwined, political and economic progress are unlikely absent a basic level of security.” It is surely impossible to provide security without viable political institutions and jobs.
It almost certainly remains true that the “Majority of Iraqis will support the Coalition and Iraqi efforts to build a democratic state,” notwithstanding the fact that “Iraqis[are] increasingly disillusioned with Coalition efforts.” It remains a tiny minority that are using violence to sow fear and distrust of the institutions.
It can and probably is also simultaneously true that “Region has a strategic interest in the stabilization of Iraq” even though “Many Arab states remain wary of throwing their full support behind the Iraqi Government.” The latter is almost certainly a function of uncertainty as to who will prevail more so than a desire for instability. The caveat is that Iran and Syria have very different agendas than the Sunni dictatorships in the region.