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Re: [casi] Cordesman: "Iraq: Too Uncertain to Call"

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Cordesman often offers quality military analysis useful for those of us trying
to map the trajectory of this accursed intervention.  That he does so to
promote US hegemony of the Middle East, by giving the Washington elites a
reality check, doesn't change that fact.

Some months ago someone posted an excerpt or link to a report by him in which
he pointed out how ungrounded in reality was the call for more US troops to be
deployed to Iraq: It simply meant more mouths to feed and shelter, and more
bodies to protect.  He observed that the only personnel that could help the US
'secure' the occupation were more Arab speakers and technocrats ready to
repair infrastructure.  I took his assessment as particularly compelling,
given his extensive grasp of military logistics and wish to help the US find a
way to make this dammed occupation work.

I'm grateful to Drew and to anyone else who sends us postings that we can
learn from, and hope they feel free to continue to do so.  And seeing as how
I'm breaking my habit of non-listserv posting, let me register the following
query:  What has been the documentable impact of the US invasion and its
aftermath on Iraqi civilian population?  What was the effect of the summertime
electricity shortages, and was it worse for Baghdad than for Basra?   Is there
any kind of damage assesment in the works?  It's making me crazy that the only
civilian casualties being counted by the think tankies are ones caused by
bullets and bombs. I would have thought all the UN and NGO publicity to the
effects of sanctions would have ensured a less myopic focus.


>From: Marc Azar
>To: SOC - CASI List
>Subject: Re: [casi] Cordesman: "Iraq: Too Uncertain to Call"
>Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2003 22:22:01 -0500
>It is not for Cordesman or any other pro Israeli torturer to dissect
>what should be done to Iraq by the USUK but to Iraqis to decide
>own destiny with 0 interference by the USUK. Any interference by
>USUK is
>in the present situation unacceptable. Cordesman obviously asks for
>smoother occupation to take place. Question: Is this really what
>and ex-anti-sanction activists are asking?
>Let Iraq make their own decisions and take their own responsability
>their own actions where ever that leads them. It's what the US and
>UK do
>so why are you defending this sort of crap. Well, we can't let Tony
>Blair govern the UK 'cause the country might start to wage war
>Arab nations and create chaos around the world and at home by
>Secret Evidence legislation of the US. God knows, there might be
>protests too eventually. Oh! no, we can't allow that to happen.
>send the UN to save the UK from the Tony Blairs of this world.
>Marc Azar
> a écrit:
>>CSIS Strategist Anthony H. Cordesman was in Iraq Nov. 1-12, and his
>>report --
>>"Iraq: Too Uncertain to Call" -- is available here:
>>Cordesman reports on the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches
>>taken by the
>>Bush administration, the CPA, and the IGC, including:
>>" The Political and Economic Forces Driving Uncertainty
>>" Low Intensity Conflict
>>" The Efficiency of the CPA and U.S. Political Efforts in Nation
>>  [Cordesman is not flattering, here]
>>" Transition from the IGC
>>" The Information Battle for Hearts and Minds
>>  ["Slogans and platitudes do not win hearts and minds and spinning
>>situation to give the most favorable picture is quickly seen as
>>lying by
>>" The Quality and Impact of the U.S. and International Aid Effort
>>Concerning aid efforts, Cordesman is again critical of US efforts.
>>recommendations include the following:
>>--Bring in as many people with actual area expertise as possible,
>>internationalize as much of the effort in terms of non-US
>>expertise as soon as
>>possible. Integrate Iraqis fully into the planning, project
>>selection, and
>>contract award process. Shift from US to Iraqi contracting and
>>project standards
>>as soon as possible.
>>--Open up every aspect of the aid effort to Iraqis with full, near
>>real time
>>transparency, and create Iraqi teams to publicly evaluate contract
>>--Publicly crucify the first major US contractor foolish enough to
>>as an international example to the others.
>>--Understand that oil revenues are the key to power in Iraq and the
>>success of
>>the future Iraqi government. ...
>>--Allow for the fact no one can really survey the needs and costs
>>of the
>>petroleum sector at this point, predict the impact of sabotage and
>>conditions. or predict near term revenues. Be adaptive, be prepared
>>for things
>>to go wrong, and do not count on near term oil reserves.
>>--Do make it clear that the US will seek to create an Iraqi
>>constitution that
>>ensures revenues will be shared with some equity.
>>--Look beyond the aid often to Iraqs overall financial position.
>>Do not forget
>>the whole aid issue will be moot if Iraqi is left with a Weimar
>>heritage of debt and reparations payments.
>>Btw, this post is made in the hope there's no replay of the recent
>>reaction to Cordesman.  Suffice it so say, Cordesman's boneheaded
>>draft document
>>that acquiesced in 'excessive force' is dissected here
>>( and here
>>Note that Alex Cockburn used Counterpunch to plug a later Cordesman
>>"Planning for a Self-Inflicted Wound" (noted by Gabrield of
>>  Cordesman's
>>(posted by Colin Rowat to CASI) proved one of the more prescient
>>analyses of the
>>Cordesman also gave us one of the great quotes of the run-up: "Only
>>fools would
>>bet the lives of other men's sons and daughters on their own
>>Perle's ears should have burst into flame as this aired.
>>Drew Hamre
>>Golden Valley, MN USA
>>Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on
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>Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on
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