Tuesday, November 27, 2007

admitting the difficulty of nation-building and reducing our political goals in Iraq

From Steven Lee Myers and Alissa Rubin with the NY Times (hat tip: C-J), an article codifying some old news-- about our reduced political goals in Iraq (I blogged on this when it was "new"-- some time ago)...

With American military successes out-pacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

Instead, administration officials say they are focusing their immediate efforts on several more limited but achievable goals in the hope of convincing Iraqis, foreign governments and Americans that progress is being made toward the political breakthroughs that the military campaign of the past 10 months was supposed to promote.

The short-term American targets include passage of a $48 billion Iraqi budget, something the Iraqis say they are on their way to doing anyway; renewing the U.N. mandate that authorizes an American presence in the country, which the Iraqis have done repeatedly before; and passing legislation to allow thousands of Baath Party members from Saddam Hussein’s era to rejoin the government. A senior Bush administration official described that goal as largely symbolic since re-hirings have been quietly taking place already.

Bush administration officials have not abandoned their larger goals and emphasize the importance of reaching them eventually.


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