Overall I am not surprised. Most of the recommendations are policy-wonk stuff, with the hot-spots being the attempt to get Syria’s buy-in through the carrot of the Golan Heights (with US military guarantees to Israel) and calling Iran’s bluff on negotiations:
Our limited contacts with Iran’s government lead us to believe that its leaders are likely to say they will not participate in diplomatic efforts to support stability in Iraq… An Iranian refusal to do so would demonstrate to Iraq and the rest of the world Iran’s rejectionist attitude and approach, which could lead to its isolation. Further, Iran’s refusal to cooperate on this matter would diminish its prospects of engaging with the United States in the broader dialogue it seeks. Pg 52
It’s a document that appears to give both sides of the aisle in Washington political cover, while at the same time giving a few well-needed kick in the pants to the Iraqis. As for Syria, I’ve argued that it would be worth bringing them onboard before, so I don’t seem the harm in trying – as long as the price isn’t Lebanon.
Iraqis have not been convinced that they must take responsibility for their own future. pg 32
Because of the importance of Iraq, the potential for catastrophe, and the role and commitments of the United States in initiating events that have led to the current situation, we believe it would be wrong for the United States to abandon the country through a precipitate withdrawal of troops and support. A premature American departure from Iraq would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and further deterioration of conditions... pg 37
Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation. pg 38
How’s about breaking Iraq up like Sen. Joe Biden recommends?
Iraqis, particularly Sunni Arabs, told us that such a division would confirm wider fears across the Arab world that the United States invaded Iraq to weaken a strong Arab state. pg 39
The United States must build a new international consensus for stability in Iraq and the region. In order to foster such consensus, the United States should embark on a robust diplomatic effort to establish an international support structure intended to stabilize Iraq and ease tensions in other countries in the region. pg 43
Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts. To put it simply, all key issues in the Middle East—the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq, Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism—are inextricably linked. pg 44
List of Recommendations (some verbatim, other condensed to limit wonkiness):
RECOMMENDATION 1: The United States, working with the Iraqi government, should launch the comprehensive New Diplomatic Offensive to deal with the problems of Iraq and of the region. This new diplomatic offensive should be launched before December 31, 2006.
RECOMMENDATION 2: The goals of the diplomatic offensive as it relates to regional players should be to:
i. Support the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
ii. Stop destabilizing interventions and actions by Iraq’s neighbors.
iii. Secure Iraq’s borders, including the use of joint patrols with neighboring countries.
iv. Prevent the expansion of the instability and conflict beyond Iraq’s borders.
v. Promote economic assistance, commerce, trade, political support, and, if possible, military assistance for the Iraqi government from non-neighboring Muslim nations.
vi. Energize countries to support national political reconciliation in Iraq.
vii. Validate Iraq’s legitimacy by resuming diplomatic relations, where appropriate, and reestablishing embassies in Baghdad.
viii. Assist Iraq in establishing active working embassies in key capitals in the region (for example, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).
ix. Help Iraq reach a mutually acceptable agreement on Kirkuk.
x. Assist the Iraqi government in achieving certain security, political, and economic milestones, including better performance on issues such as national reconciliation, equitable distribution of oil revenues, and the dismantling of militias.
RECOMMENDATION 3: As a complement to the diplomatic offensive, and in addition to the Support Group discussed below, the United States and the Iraqi government should support the holding of a conference or meeting in Baghdad of the Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Arab League both to assist the Iraqi government in promoting national reconciliation in Iraq and to reestablish their diplomatic presence in Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 4: As an instrument of the New Diplomatic Offensive, an Iraq International Support Group should be organized immediately following the launch of the New Diplomatic Offensive.
RECOMMENDATION 5: The Support Group should consist of Iraq and all the states bordering Iraq, including Iran and Syria; the key regional states, including Egypt and the Gulf States; the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; the European Union; and, of course, Iraq itself.
RECOMMENDATION 6: The New Diplomatic Offensive and the work of the Support Group should be carried out with urgency, and should be conducted by and organized at the level of foreign minister or above. The Secretary of State, if not the President, should lead the U.S. effort. That effort should be both bilateral and multilateral, as circumstances require.
RECOMMENDATION 7: The Support Group should call on the participation of the office of the United Nations Secretary- General in its work. The United Nations Secretary-General should designate a Special Envoy as his representative.
RECOMMENDATION 8: The Support Group, as part of the New Diplomatic Offensive, should develop specific approaches to neighboring countries that take into account the interests, perspectives, and potential contributions as suggested above.
RECOMMENDATION 9: Under the aegis of the New Diplomatic Offensive and the Support Group, the United States should engage directly with Iran and Syria in order to try to obtain their commitment to constructive policies toward Iraq and other regional issues. In engaging Syria and Iran, the United States should consider incentives, as well as disincentives, in seeking constructive results.
RECOMMENDATION 10: Keep Iran’s nuke problem in the UN. Pg 53.
RECOMMENDATION 11: Convince Iran to play nice with Iraq. Pg. 53.
RECOMMENDATION 12: Convince Syria to play nice with Iraq. Pg. 54
RECOMMENDATION 13: Renewed diplomatic effort on Arab-Israeli conflict along Madrid Conference lines. Pg 55 . RECOMMENDATION 15: Bring Syria in from the cold.pg 57
RECOMMENDATION 16:In exchange of Syrian cooperation, give Israel security guarantee over Golan while pushing them to give the Golan Heights back to Syria. Pg 57
RECOMMENDATION 17 – Support a national unity gov’t in Palestinian Territories. pg 57
RECOMMENDATION 18 – Boost support to Afghanistan (inc. redeployment of troops out of Iraq) pg 58
Internal to Iraq recommendations;
RECOMMENDATION 19: Direct communication between US President, Iraqi PM: Update to American public. Objective: Milestone achievement. Pg 61
RECOMMENDATION 20: If Iraqis meet milestones, US will continue support (military, financial).
RECOMMENDATION 21: If Iraqis fail to meet milestones, US will decrease support
RECOMMENDATION 22: US President should state no permanent military bases in Iraq (Iraq can request temporary ones). Pg. 62
RECOMMENDATION 23: US President should state the US not interested in Iraqi oil Pg. 62.
Milestones listed pg 62-64
RECOMMENDATION 24: Completion dates of some milestones may be pushed back toQ1 2007.
RECOMMENDATION 25: Work with Iraqis to set other milestones.
RECOMMENDATION 26: UN should conduct a review of Constitution
RECOMMENDATION 27: Reintegration of Baathists sans high-level leaders.
RECOMMENDATION 28: Oil revenue sharing. Oil revenues should accrue to the central government and be shared on the basis of population. No formula that gives control over revenues from future fields to the regions or gives control of oil fields to the regions is compatible with national reconciliation. Pg65
RECOMMENDATION 29: Hold Provincial Elections
RECOMMENDATION 30: International arbitration on status of city of Kirkuk.
RECOMMENDATION 31: Amnesty. Amnesty proposals must be far-reaching. Pg 66
RECOMMENDATION 32: Minorities. The rights of women and the rights of all minority communities in Iraq, including Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Yazidis, Sabeans, and Armenians, must be protected.
RECOMMENDATION 33: Civil society. The Iraqi government should stop using the process of registering nongovernmental organizations as a tool for politicizing or stopping their activities.
RECOMMENDATION 34: The question of the future U.S. force presence must be on the table for discussion as the national reconciliation dialogue takes place.
RECOMMENDATION 35: The United States must make active efforts to engage all parties in Iraq, with the exception of al Qaeda.
RECOMMENDATION 36: The United States should encourage dialogue between sectarian communities, as outlined in the New Diplomatic Offensive above. It should press religious leaders inside and outside Iraq to speak out on behalf of peace and reconciliation.
RECOMMENDATION 37: Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch. Pg. 68
RECOMMENDATION 38: The United States should support the presence of neutral international experts as advisors to the Iraqi government on the processes of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.
RECOMMENDATION 39: The United States should provide financial and technical support and establish a single office in Iraq to coordinate assistance to the Iraqi government and its expert advisors to aid a program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate militia members.
RECOMMENDATION 40: The United States should not make an open-ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 41: The United States must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the United States could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments, even if Iraq does not implement its planned changes. America’s other security needs and the future of our military cannot be made hostage to the actions or inactions of the Iraqi government.
RECOMMENDATION 42: We should seek to complete the training and equipping mission by the first quarter of 2008, as stated by General George Casey on October 24, 2006.
RECOMMENDATION 43: Military priorities in Iraq must change, with the highest priority given to the training, equipping, advising, and support mission and to counterterrorism operations.
RECOMMENDATION 44: The most highly qualified U.S. officers and military personnel should be assigned to the imbedded teams, and American teams should be present with Iraqi units down to the company level. The U.S. military should establish suitable career-enhancing incentives for these officers and personnel.
RECOMMENDATION 45: The United States should support more and better equipment for the Iraqi Army by encouraging the Iraqi government to accelerate its Foreign Military Sales requests and, as American combat brigades move out of Iraq, by leaving behind some American equipment for Iraqi forces.
RECOMMENDATION 46: The new Secretary of Defense should make every effort to build healthy civil-military relations, by creating an environment in which the senior military feel free to offer independent advice not only to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon but also to the President and the National Security Council, as envisioned in the Goldwater- Nichols legislation.
RECOMMENDATION 47: As redeployment proceeds, the Pentagon leadership should emphasize training and education programs for the forces that have returned to the continental United States in order to “reset” the force and restore the U.S. military to a high level of readiness for global contingencies.
RECOMMENDATION 48: As equipment returns to the United States, Congress should appropriate sufficient funds to restore the equipment to full functionality over the next five years.
RECOMMENDATION 49: The administration, in full consultation with the relevant committees of Congress, should assess the full future budgetary impact of the war in Iraq and its potential impact on the future readiness of the force, the ability to recruit and retain high-quality personnel, needed investments in procurement and in research and development, and the budgets of other U.S. government agencies involved in the stability and reconstruction effort.
RECOMMENDATION 50: The entire Iraqi National Police should be transferred to the Ministry of Defense, where the police commando units will become part of the new Iraqi Army. Pg 78
RECOMMENDATION 51: The entire Iraqi Border Police should be transferred to the Ministry of Defense, which would have total responsibility for border control and external security.
RECOMMENDATION 52: The Iraqi Police Service should be given greater responsibility to conduct criminal investigations and should expand its cooperation with other elements in the Iraqi judicial system in order to better control crime and protect Iraqi civilians.
RECOMMENDATION 53: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior should undergo a process of organizational transformation, including efforts to expand the capability and reach of the current major crime unit (or Criminal Investigation Division) and to exert more authority over local police forces. The sole authority to pay police salaries and disburse financial support to local police should be transferred to the Ministry of the Interior.
RECOMMENDATION 54: The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior should proceed with current efforts to identify, register, and control the Facilities Protection Service.
RECOMMENDATION 55: The U.S. Department of Defense should continue its mission to train the Iraqi National Police and the Iraqi Border Police, which should be placed within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.
RECOMMENDATION 56: The U.S. Department of Justice should direct the training mission of the police forces remaining under the Ministry of the Interior.
RECOMMENDATION 57: Expand embedding of US police trainers in police
RECOMMENDATION 58: The FBI should expand its investigative and forensic training and facilities within Iraq, to include coverage of terrorism as well as criminal activity.
RECOMMENDATION 59: The Iraqi government should provide funds to expand and upgrade communications equipment and motor vehicles for the Iraqi Police Service.
RECOMMENDATION 60: The U.S. Department of Justice should lead the work of organizational transformation in the Ministry of the Interior.
RECOMMENDATION 61: Programs led by the U.S. Department of Justice to establish courts; to train judges, prosecutors, and investigators; and to create institutions and practices to fight corruption must be strongly supported and funded.
RECOMMENDATION 62 – 63: Reform of oil sector pgs 84-5
RECOMMENDATION 64: U.S. economic assistance should be increased to a level of $5 billion per year rather than being permitted to decline.
RECOMMENDATION 65: An essential part of reconstruction efforts in Iraq should be greater involvement by and with international partners, who should do more than just contribute money. They should also actively participate in the design and construction of projects.
RECOMMENDATION 66: The United States should take the lead in funding assistance requests from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and other humanitarian agencies.
RECOMMENDATION 67: The President should create a Senior Advisor for Economic Reconstruction in Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 68: The Chief of Mission in Iraq should have the authority to spend significant funds through a program structured along the lines of the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, and should have the authority to rescind funding from programs and projects in which the government of Iraq is not demonstrating effective partnership.
RECOMMENDATION 69: The authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction should be renewed for the duration of assistance programs in Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 70: A more flexible security assistance program for Iraq, breaking down the barriers to effective interagency cooperation, should be authorized and implemented.
RECOMMENDATION 71: Authority to merge U.S. funds with those from international donors and Iraqi participants on behalf of assistance projects should be provided.
RECOMMENDATION 72: Costs for the war in Iraq should be included in the President’s annual budget request, starting in FY 2008: the war is in its fourth year, and the normal budget process should not be circumvented. Funding requests for the war in Iraq should be presented clearly to Congress and the American people.
RECOMMENDATION 73: The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of National Intelligence should accord the highest possible priority to professional language proficiency and cultural training, in general and specifically for U.S. officers and personnel about to be assigned to Iraq.
RECOMMENDATION 74: In the short term, if not enough civilians volunteer to fill key positions in Iraq, civilian agencies must fill those positions with directed assignments.
RECOMMENDATION 75: For the longer term, the United States government needs to improve how its constituent agencies—Defense, State, Agency for International Development, Treasury, Justice, the intelligence community, and others— respond to a complex stability operation like that represented by this decade’s Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the previous decade’s operations in the Balkans.
RECOMMENDATION 76: The State Department should train personnel to carry out civilian tasks associated with a complex stability operation outside of the traditional embassy setting. It should establish a Foreign Service Reserve Corps with personnel and expertise to provide surge capacity for such an operation.
RECOMMENDATION 77-8: The Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense should collect and report better data on sources of instability in Iraq.