No Hope For Democracy In Iraq

Bush military advisor Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council of Foreign Relations, sees no chance for Democracy in Iraq.

A military advisor for the US President George W. Bush conceded that Washington has not managed to accomplish any of its political objectives in war-stricken Iraq.

“The original war aims of the US are unachievable. Democracy in Iraq is a general objective however it is not a mid-and long-term objective,” said Stephen Biddle in a speech to the Berlin-based American Academy Monday evening.

A senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Biddle stressed that America’s main goal had to be restoring stability in Iraq which could take 5-6 years.

He called on Washington to change its strategy by initiating a “power-sharing ceasefire” in lines with the Balkan political agreements of the 1990s.

“Political reforms and economic restructuring will not make peace (in Iraq). Iraqi Shias, Sunnis and Kurds fear that a compromise settlement means yielding power to rivals seeking mass violence,” said Biddle who has recently consulted in Baghdad with the commander of US forces in Iraq, General David H. Petraeus.

The military expert urged more US focus on halting the civil war in Iraq than on democratization.

Biddle added that any power-sharing ceasefire would require the deployment of foreign peacekeepers to monitor the truce.


Biddle made clear that Iraqi stabilization efforts had to focus on a “regional diplomatic initiative” which had to include Iran and Syria.

Biddle is expert on the US national security policy, military strategy and the conduct of war, technology in modern warfare, and recent operations in the war on terror.

Before joining the Council on Foreign Relations in January 2006, he served as associate professor and Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies at the US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (SSI).

Biddle has served as US representative to the NATO Defense Research Group study on stable defense and has testified before congressional committees on issues related to Operation Iraqi Freedom, conventional net assessment and European arms control.

[emphasis added]

5 thoughts on “No Hope For Democracy In Iraq

  1. So you’re telling me that them A-rabbs may prefer some other form of government other than what we want them to have. They may not like the intrusion of Baywatch?
    How gauche!

  2. In reference to that emphasis… I am trying to find any comment regarding the judgements of Gen. Petraeus as it pertains to the efficacy of the surge _as it relates to withdrawl_. I begin doubt he was asked this question by anyone, as it is a political decision; he would be called in to answer such questions as “probability for success in Iraq, given a surge in troop presence” or some such.
    See, I doubt that the “replacing the opinion of our generals in Iraq with those of the DC pols” to even be _accurate_. Sure, we can all see that in our government, decisions to engage theatres in war is the mandate of the congress; but even accepting the WH retoric, such decisions are the kinda thing *no* general would take on his shoulders if asked the question.
    Shorter: Has anyone asked if Petraeus has voiced support of the surge over withdrawl?

  3. I don’t know -AnE. General Petraeus / Armed Forces are responsible for taking military action. I don’t see the nation building / predicting the political future as a part of their core competency.

  4. Don’t they understand that it takes time and a military surge to BEAT democracy into some people?

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