A new report by the United States Institute for Peace claims America is no closer to achieving its goals in Iraq today than it was a year ago, but it argues a sudden withdrawal might result in massive chaos, and even genocide. The organization, which provided information to the Iraq Study Group, is not very optimistic about either the prospect of remaining or leaving Iraq. According to authors of the report, “the U.S. is no closer to being able to leave Iraq than it was a year ago. Lasting political development could take five to ten years of full, unconditional U.S. military commitment to Iraq.” The report was issued two days before General Petraeus was due to present his ideas on the course of events in Iraq.
An interesting conclusion reached by experts who worked on this document is if America opts for a reduced military commitment in Iraq, the focus should be on political and economic development projects. There is scant doubt political and economic efforts should have been at the front of American efforts over the past five years instead of the Bush emphasis on military action. Perhaps, a new president would be willing to work with Iran and other nations in the region to foster peace efforts.