Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review

Highlights of the Iraq Strategy Review
United States National Security Council

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE
IRAQ STRATEGY REVIEW
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
JANUARY 2007
Summary Briefing Slides

Guiding PrinciplesEdit

  • Success in Iraq remains critical to our national security and to success in the War on Terror.
  • Failure in Iraq would have disastrous consequences for the United States, the region, and our allies.
  • There is no silver bullet solution in Iraq. Every option involves trade-offs across various risks.

Relationship to the War on TerrorEdit

  • Iraq remains a central front in the Global War on Terror.
  • Al-Qaida in Iraq has declared and shown its intentions to establish a caliphate in Iraq and then to expand the caliphate widely.
    • Sowing sectarian violence in Iraq has been and remains the central strategy of al-Qaida in Iraq to reach the goal of creating a caliphate.
  • The Freedom Agenda is advanced by the survival and strengthening of Iraq’s democratic institutions.
    • Winning in Iraq will not end the War on Terror, but it will make success in the War on Terror much easier.
    • Failing in Iraq would make succeeding in the War on Terror vastly more difficult.

The Regional PictureEdit

  • Our allies in the region are concerned about negative Iranian influence in Iraq.
    • Support for the Iraqi Government, however, can help stabilize the region.
  • Iran has been cultivating influence in Iraq through all means at its disposal.
    • Iran’s threat involves both lethal action and the burrowing of Iranian actors into Iraqi institutions.
  • Syrian actions, while posing less of a strategic threat to Iraq than Iranian actions, exacerbate the tactical challenge faced by the Iraqi government.

Present SituationEdit

  • We have achieved many of our initial objectives in Iraq.
    • Saddam Hussein’s regime is no longer an organized threat to Iraq, its neighbors, or the United States.
    • Iraq is governed by a freely elected government under a permanent constitution.
    • Democratic institutions have been established and are enabling Iraqis to shape their own state.
    • Per capita incomes have increased ($743 to $1593 according to the World Bank, although inflation also has risen) and Iraq has performed under its IMF agreement.
  • But the situation in Iraq has grown increasingly complex over the past 12 months.
    • Al-Qaida terrorism and a vicious insurgency are now combined with sectarian violence.
    • The national government is eager to take lead responsibility, but it is hampered by a lack of governmental capability and widening sectarian divisions.
    • Power centers are devolving, with events outside the international zone becoming more relevant to national trends.
  • The political process has shown signs of maturation, but meaningful reconciliation has yet to be achieved.
    • Iraqi leaders have not yet achieved a single vision for a unified Iraq.
  • Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have grown in effectiveness, but the levels of violence with which they must cope continue to increase.
    • Professionalism and effectiveness are improving but are not yet consistent across the force.
    • Some members of the ISF, notably the police, are contributing to sectarian violence.
    • Despite more than 300,000 trained and equipped members of the ISF, substantially fewer numbers are present for duty on a given day.
  • Combat losses, desertion, attrition, and leave account for the majority of those absent.
  • The situation in Baghdad has not improved despite tactical adjustments.
    • The situation in Baghdad determines nationwide trends; its stabilization has been seen as key to a unified Iraq.
    • The Government of Iraq has not yet delivered promised essential services.
    • Limitations on operations have hindered the execution of security plans.
    • Force levels overall in Baghdad have been inadequate to stabilize a city of its size.
  • Iraqi support for the Coalition has declined substantially, in part due to failure of security over the past year.
    • In the absence of security, communities are turning to “self-help.”
  • In his public and private statements, Prime Minister Maliki articulates a positive vision where all Iraqis are protected by the rule of law.
    • Execution and delivery on pledges remain vital.

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SourceEdit

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/nsc/iraq/2007/iraq-strategy011007.pdf

 

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).