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Re: [casi] Course twists in Iraq

Dear Mark,

Originally, I had simply forgotten to post here on casi an earlier
announcement by the Fund for Freedom report dated Nov 26., which you'll find
as item 2 below.

But later I got also reluctant:
What psychological impact would it have on this list to always report
achievements of other orgs to casi ?

Additionally: Info and URL of the report.



1) Fund for Peace: Info & Exec Summary
2) Report Finds US Invasion of Iraq Precipitated a Failed State


Iraq as a Failed State:
Report #1
Executive Summary with Recommendations
(PDF, 54k)

Complete Report
(PDF, 317k)

The Fund for Peace (FfP) is pleased to release its report Iraq as a Failed
State: Report #1. This is the first in a series of six month reports by the
FfP that will measure the effectiveness of US policies in the country in
building sustainable security. The report concludes that the US invasion had
an effect that went far beyond its original goal of regime change. It
precipitated the final collapse of a state that had been deteriorating for
years. This complete collapse, which surprised the administration,
constitutes the gravest strategic miscalculation of the war.

Measuring progress since the invasion using twelve top conflict indicators,
the FfP found that four have worsened since the war, three remained at about
the same acutely high levels of tension, one improved substantially - though
it could backslide - and four improved marginally.

The fundamental pre-war planning flaw was in not understanding how states
fail, how far Iraq had deteriorated in this regard, and what would likely
follow a military invasion. The security meltdown over the first six months
of the occupation is a continuation of the persistent breakdown. Now it is
responsibility of the US to rebuild that state. The current strategy - to
fast-track the political transition - will not work because it measures
success solely on the speed with which the ancien regime is replaced. It
does not take into account the need to build the institutions through which
elected leaders must govern.
It will take a minimum of two years, perhaps more, to get through the basics
of reconstituting state institutions. But it can be done if a strategic
redirection is made. Three immediate policy recommended are made concerning
the economic package passed by Congress, the need for creating a wider Iraqi
leadership pool, and the necessity to neutralize security threats from
private militias.

The Mission of The Fund for Peace is to prevent war
& alleviate the conditions that cause war.

Exec Summary:



Executive Summary and Recommendations

Report #1

Pre-war through September 2003



1701 K Street, NW

Eleventh Floor

Washington, D.C. 20006

(202) 223-7940 (phone)

(202) 223-7947 (fax)

Executive Summary and Recommendations

In a brilliant demonstration of the law of unintended consequences, the
U.S.-led invasion

of Iraq went far beyond its original goal of regime change. It precipitated
the final

collapse of a state that had been deteriorating for years. Shattered states
proliferate, not

eliminate, threats, however, and that is exactly what happened in Iraq. The

meltdown over the first six months of the occupation is a continuation of
that persistent


In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, looting, sniping, and sabotage

the disorderly flight of soldiers, bureaucrats, and other state workers.
This escalated into

organized attacks on the coalition forces, civilians, and international
agencies, with a

frequency and sophistication that has led UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to

after two attacks on UN headquarters in Baghdad, that "it is difficult to
imagine that Iraq

will grow safer in the next few months."

There have been many surprises in the Iraqi war, but Secretary of State
Colin Powell

described the complete civil and military collapse as the biggest surprise
of all. Indeed, it

constitutes the gravest strategic miscalculation of the war for it has
crippled recovery,

frustrated international cooperation, and is costing the United States far
more than

anticipated both in blood and treasure.

To be sure, there have been hopeful benchmarks of progress, such as opening
the schools,

getting oil back on stream (though less than expected), electing municipal
councils, and

capturing all but 13 of the 55 wanted top leaders of the Baath regime.
However, this

study found that, cumulatively, the indicators of internal conflict are
roughly as high now

as they were before the invasion. Iraq was held together under Saddam
Hussein by the

sheer force of his reign of terror; it is held together today by the
overwhelming power of

the occupation forces.

Of twelve top indictors of state collapse, four have worsened since the
war --

demographic pressures, the provision of public services, factionalized
elites, and

intervention by external political actors. Three indicators remain at about
the same

acutely high levels - the depth of group grievances, uneven development, and

and internally displaced persons. One indicator improved substantially --
human rights --

but newly acquired freedoms are still at risk from the security situation
and are

potentially reversible because they are not protected in law. Four other

improved marginally -- the brain drain, sharp economic decline, a security

operating as a "state within a state" and delegitimatization of the state.
Cumulative and

individual trends, with their ratings and brief summaries of events, on a

basis, are depicted graphically in charts enclosed in this report.

In addition, the study assessed five core state institutions - the police,
military, civil

service, the system of justice and political leadership - that had collapsed
with the

invasion and are only beginning to function, as recruitment and training
proceed slowly.

Iraqi political leadership is narrowly focused on the 24-member Iraqi
Governing Council

appointed by the U.S. While representing a wide swath of the population, the
members of

the Council are internally competitive and are not sufficiently consulted on
key issues.

The Fund for Peace, Copyright 2003 2

They were criticized by U.S. officials for dragging their heels on writing a

constitution and for taking independent positions without getting clearance
from the top

U.S. official Paul Bremer, who alone holds the authority to make final
political decisions.

Recognizing the weakness and lack of legitimacy of the Governing Council,
the Bush

Administration recently decided to speed up the transition by shifting
control to a

Provisional Government by June 2004. The Provisional Government will be
elected by a

transitional national assembly, whose participants will be selected by
caucuses in each

province by May 2004. The existing Governing Council welcomed the

transfer of sovereignty and is supposed to do much of the preparation for
the transfer.

Elections for drafters of a permanent constitution are to take place by
March 15, 2005 and

a permanent Iraqi government is supposed to be in place by December 31,

This decision to introduce a radical new plan at the top refocuses public
debate on Iraq.

Previously, debate focused primarily around poor or manipulated intelligence
that may

have led to a number of strategic misjudgments in the war - from failure to
assess the

nature of the threat from Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction
correctly to the

condition of the country's physical infrastructure. However, a much more

flaw was made in not understanding how states fail, how Iraq itself had
deteriorated in

this sense, and what might follow a military invasion. The new plan
announced by the

Bush Administration, while correcting some flaws in the transition strategy,
still fails to

take into account the preconditions that are necessary to make an elected

function effectively in a collapsed state. It is an attempt to define and
install democracy

based on elections only, without due regard to the other factors necessary
to achieve

sustainable security.

The basic misperception of the pre-war period was equating strongman rule
with a strong

state, a mistake commonly made by observers viewing autocratic regimes from

distance, and one that often leads to false conclusions. The administration
assumed that

once the regime of Saddam Hussein was overthrown, the people of Iraq would

the U.S. as liberators, the military would surrender or defect, and people
working in state

institutions would stay on the job. These predictions were based on the
premise that Iraq

was a strong state whose institutions would survive the overthrow of Saddam

Precisely the opposite occurred. The Iraqi state collapsed like a house of
cards with the

invasion, the final push in a process of state deterioration that had been
going on for

years. It is now the responsibility of the U.S. and its coalition partners
to put the state

back together again. This task is made all the more difficult because Iraq
is drifting into a

protracted guerrilla war, which Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, Commander of U.S.

forces in Iraq, said is becoming more lethal, complex, sophisticated and
tenacious. By the

end of September, an average of three to six soldiers were dying and 40 were

wounded each week, with attacks averaging 30 a day. They are becoming bolder

more frequent with the infiltration of terrorists from other countries that
the occupation

forces have been unable to stop. The new transition plan announced by the

will likely increase military activities, as Saddam Hussein loyalists,
foreign infiltrators,

and other spoilers try to derail the process.

The Fund for Peace, Copyright 2003 3

Should a protracted low-intensity insurgency continue, it will eventually
make the

country ungovernable and the U.S. military presence untenable, even if an
elected Iraqi

government comes to power. Moreover, when President Bush declared Iraq a

front in the war on terrorism, he increased the chances of a wider and
longer war by

conflating the security problems of a collapsed state with the global war on
terrorism, in

effect inviting a showdown with international terrorists that would be seen
globally as a

battle between Islam and the U.S. This could undermine the new transition
plan and

would play into the hands of our enemies, as the fight would take place on
terrain that is

hospitable to them, not us, attacks would largely be at times of their
choosing, not ours,

and the nature of combat -- hit-and-run and suicide tactics -- would favor
their military

skills over our conventional capabilities. Iraqi civilians caught in the
cross fire would

likely turn on the U.S., blaming their predicament on the occupation and,
possibly, the

new elected government. Few allies would join this fight, anti-Americanism
would be

enflamed and Iraq's experiment in democratization would end up a failure.
This is the

worst-case scenario for the future that current trends portend.

Fearing further deterioration, the administration's plan is basically to
fast-track the

political transition. The aim is to contain, if not defeat, the attackers,
transfer as many

security functions as possible to Iraqis, rush through the transition plan,
and downsize the

American military presence. Although the administration stated that troops
will stay in

Iraq for as long as it takes, the American military presence is expected to
be reduced to

50,000 troops by 2005, with substantial troop reductions completed before
the next

presidential election.

Congress approved the administration's request of $87 billion, nearly a
quarter of which

is dedicated to jump-starting the economy and rebuilding infrastructure.
Legal restrictions

have been lifted to open the economy to foreign investment and Iraqi police
and military

are being crash-trained to relieve the burden on American soldiers.

But the fast-track strategy will not work because success is defined solely
on the speed

with which the ancien regime is replaced. Success should be defined on the
degree to

which sustainable security is achieved, when Iraq can resolve its own

peacefully without an outside military or administrative presence. This is
not a question

of how fast an election is held but on how well the institutions through
which elected

leaders must govern are built.

It will take a minimum of two years, perhaps more, to get through the basics

reconstituting the institutional foundations of the state, but it can be
done if the

administration moves away from the model of regime change and openly admits
that the

task is to rebuild the state. Should that strategic redirection be made in
addition to the

political moves already announced, an exit strategy can be devised that has
a better

chance of achieving sustainable security.

Three major course corrections are recommended at this stage.

. First, substantial parts of the $20.3 billion economic package should be

reallocated from showy high tech infrastructure construction to projects

will have a direct impact on relieving the frustrations of ordinary citizens

and impact the conflict indicators. Instead of a $150m state-of-the-art

The Fund for Peace, Copyright 2003 4

hospital with cutting-edge research and post-graduate development

basic health services for the poor should be upgraded, especially in urban

that are hotbeds of political activism. This would build on the progress

made in opening up all 240 hospitals and more than 1,200 primary health

In place of a $9m postal system with bar coding and zip codes, a national

population census should be conducted, which is essential for delimiting

districts, delivering public services and determining fair distribution of

revenues to correct uneven development. The $100m for seven planned upscale

communities to accommodate 16,000 people should be dropped in favor of low

income housing for more than 1 million internally displaced persons and

refugees from prior wars. The $400m to build two prisons should be

reprogrammed for a massive jobs-creation program to relieve the 60%

unemployment among youths who turn to violence in the absence of employment.

Community level schools, housing, roads, and other socially beneficial
projects at

the grass-roots would bring hope to disadvantaged communities, earn the

coalition forces good will among the population and relieve the pressure on

critical indicators that are causing tension.

. Second, the U.S. must draw upon a wider Iraqi leadership pool focused on

building state institutions by setting up more political bodies with defined

functions that would pave the way for self-rule. An Electoral Commission

should be appointed to lay the ground rules for the series of elections and

caucuses envisioned in the new plan. A Civil Service Commission should be

constituted to reconfigure the bureaucracy on a merit system with diverse

recruitment among ethnic and religious groups so that no single group

dominates. Other key state institutions, such as the police, military and
the system

of justice, should be similarly revamped to ensure professionalism and

inclusiveness. Appropriately, the first battalion of nearly 700 soldiers for
the Iraqi

army that graduated in October included not only Sunni Muslims, the group

favored by Hussein, but Shiite Muslims, Kurds and other ethnic groups in

equal proportion to their representation nationally. The Iraqi military,
like armed

forces in other countries, could become the vanguard of social integration
if it is

properly managed. Iraqis will scrutinize the ethnic and geographical make-up

all state institutions and broad representation must be ensured if the new

government is to have greater legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

will be contingent not only on elections at the top, but in personnel

Authentic representatives of Iraq's plural society must be visible in all
the key

state institutions.

Another body that should be set up is a Human Rights Commission, an

buried in the administration's budget request that was allocated only $1m

described as an entity whose function would be to "question the government."

An independent Human Rights Commission should have a wider mandate to draw

up a constitutional Bill of Rights in a Muslim context. It would be the

body of its kind in the Arab world tasked to integrate universal standards

The Fund for Peace, Copyright 2003 5

human rights in an Islamic society. Membership of the commission should

include leaders from civil society and other Arab scholars, including those

the UN panel that produced the widely respected Arab Development Report.

Their recommendations included proposals on comprehensive education reforms,

ways to empower and educate women, and suggestions on how to protect the

media from political control. The commission should conduct public

hearings, take expert testimony, and operate free of political influence,

out their work so that their recommendations can be incorporated into the


Authoritative bodies with particular functions could provide avenues for

political participation and give "ownership" of the process to the Iraqi

preparing them to reconcile their differences and conduct an open debate in

process that would be by Iraqis, for Iraqis and of Iraqis. A more democratic

political transition for the full scope of state building would also be
attractive to

the outside world and have a greater chance of success in a reconstructed

. Third, the U.S. must neutralize emerging security threats as well as react

existing ones, particularly private militias loyal to personalities with

own political agendas, many of whom could link up with infiltrators or

external actors. Potentially as dangerous as unemployed former security

members of private militias should be recruited to join the national police

other well-regulated security units, just as former Iraqi soldiers, except
for the

Republican Guard, are being recruited into the armed forces. While there is

rethinking of how to reconstitute Iraqi security forces, there is a
reluctance to

embrace this idea due to fears of institutionalizing militias. However, that

precisely is what will happen if private militias are allowed to proliferate
in a

society of simmering ethnic, religious, tribal and clan rivalries during the

transition. The result would be "no-go" zones controlled by militant

sectarian politicians, and warlords, who could challenge legitimately

civil authorities in the future. U.S. authorities need to thwart private
armies from

having the capability to plunge the country into civil war. Members of

militias must be carefully vetted, rigorously retrained, assigned to mixed

and deployed to regions that are not necessarily their areas of origin. If

militias refuse to be integrated into national security units, they should

outlawed and disbanded. The controlling of militias is essential for

peaceful elections. Previous conflicts have demonstrated that when the rule
of law

does not exist, voters tend to vote for warlords, ethnic leaders, and

Secretary Powell had earlier warned the UN that Iraq could end up a failed
state if the

process went too fast. Powell was half-right, since Iraq is already a failed
state. But the

administration has decided to speed up the process, despite Powell's
warning, because of

the deteriorating security situation and the impending U.S. presidential

However, it is the substance, not the pace, of change that will ultimately

success. The administration needs to rebuild the state, not merely replace
the regime at

the top, and it must nurture the soft infrastructure of state institutions,
not merely focus

on bricks and mortar construction. The newly announced transition could be

opportunity to address the full scope of the problem, so that the trajectory
of chaos is

changed toward a path of constitutionalism that will allow the U.S. to bring
home its

soldiers without leaving the country, and its own world standing, in
tatters. Currently,

however, it is short of the mark.


     Politics - U.S. Newswire Press Releases

            Report Finds US Invasion of Iraq Precipitated a Failed State

                  22 minutes ago

            To: National and Assignment desk

            Contact: Krista Hendry of The Fund for Peace, 202-223-7940 x.212

            WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a report to be
released on Dec. 4, 2003, The Fund for Peace (FfP) concludes the U.S.
invasion went far beyond the original goal of regime change. It unwittingly
precipitated the total collapse of the state, which had been deteriorating
for years. This complete disintegration, which surprised the administration,
constitutes the gravest strategic miscalculation of the war. The FfP will
hold a press conference announcing these and other findings in its report:
Iraq (news - web sites) as a Failed State.

            The report, which assessed the first six months of
reconstruction, finds Iraq is not yet on the road to sustainable security.
The administration's recently announced effort to accelerate political
transition at the top will not achieve this goal. The plan focuses only on
the speed with which the old regime is replaced, rather than on the
institutions through which elected leaders must govern. A successful exit
strategy cannot leave behind a weak state that is likely to collapse again.

            The report contains policy recommendations for building
sustainable security. It is the first in a series that will monitor Iraq's
progress at six-month intervals.

            -- Iraq as a Failed State --

            Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003, 10 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m.

            Carnegie Building, Choate Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW


            -- Pauline H. Baker, President, The Fund for Peace

            -- Evelyn "Pat" Foote, Brig. Gen., U.S. Army (retired)

            -- Nicholas Kehoe, Lt. Gen., U.S. Air Force (retired) and
President, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation

            The Fund For Peace is a Washington-based non-profit organization
whose mission is to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause war.
It promotes education and research for practical solutions and is a
consistent advocate of promoting social justice and respect for the
principles of constitutional democracy. For more information, please visit:

            Pauline H. Baker, President of the FfP, is author of the report.
An Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Dr. Baker specializes in
ethnic politics, failed states and US foreign policy.

            Gen. Pat Foote, a FfP Trustee and recipient of the Distinguished
Service Medal, has over 30 years of active service as commander of the
Army's first gender-integrated basic training battalion and has served in
numerous capacities, including Vice Chair of the Secretary of the Army's
Senior Review Panel on Sexual Harassment.

            Gen. Nick Kehoe, also a FfP Trustee, has over 34 years of active
service and extensive experience in top international security policy
positions within the Air Force and NATO (news - web sites). He is the first
president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, which promotes
awareness of what America's highest military award for valor in combat


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Parkinson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2003 11:18 AM
Subject: [casi] Course twists in Iraq

I don't know anything about the Fund for Peace but they do raise some
questions about the CPA's priorities for reconstruction in Iraq.

05.12.2003 [17:13]

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The United States has always favored big
flowery projects in emerging nations, dams or hospitals that can
carry the U.S. flag and a logo that says gift of the United States of

Such are some of the Bush administration's plans for Iraq. Among the
items for the $20.3 billion economic package Congress passed a few
weeks ago was a $150 million state-of-the-art children's hospital
with cutting-edge research and post-graduate development

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