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on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2002
US State Department's Report on Patterns of Global Terrorism for 2001
'IRAQ INSURGENCY WILL CONTINUE UNTIL U.S. LEAVES' The Brookings Institution has launched an Iraq Index with an exhaustive list of charts for measuring trends in Iraq, ranging from troop fatalities and crime statistics to unemployment figures, debt oad and energy output.
Even as the U.S. military mounts a new offensive against the Iraqi guerrillas, many of its officers on the ground offer an assessment of the insurgency far more troubling than that conceded by officials. Returning from a tour of Iraq during which his informants included U.S. viceroy Paul Bremer, chief weapons inspector David Kay and many field commanders, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported disdain for the official view that the insurgency is a made up largely of a "bitter-end" crew of Saddam loyalists. According to Cordesman, commanders on the ground believe that the insurgency will continue until U.S. forces leave. He also reports that U.S. policy on the ground in Iraq is in a state of disarray because of the infighting in the Bush administration, which he blames on the failure of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to do her job.
(The Independent, November 19, 2003)
Cordesman's report "Iraq: Too Uncertain to Call" is available as a pdf download from the CSIS web site.
IRAQ SOLUTIONS PRESENT NEW PROBLEMS The Carnegie Endowment's Marina Ottaway parses the new proposals, and warns that crafting of the "basic law" to facilitate elections may be a process more complex than the parties envisage.
In response to a rising tide of casualties wrought by an insurgency that shows no signs of abating, the Bush administration has dramatically revised its plans for Iraq. Rather than waiting years for a constitution to emerge, sovereignty will now be transferred to an Iraqi provisional government next July. The new proposal contains considerable risk, because even in the controlled circumstances of the new government's selection by provincial assemblies handpicked by U.S.-approved councils, it opens up direct political competition among the different components of the current Iraqi Governing Council. To survive and prosper, each will now have to demonstrate a degree of popular support, at the expense of the others. But the Sydney Morning Herald's Paul McGeogh warns that the political process is being kept entirely separate from the military dimension, which could prove to be its undoing.
(Sydney Morning Herald, November 19, 2003)
The process for selecting a provisional government and handing over sovereignty is outlined in the text of the agreement between the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council, which is posted on the CPA's web site.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass sets out the rationale for an interim political solution in Iraq of the type envisaged in the latest proposals. He warns that the idea promoted by the Washington hawks of turning Iraq into a U.S.-friendly liberal democracy are far-fetched.
According to the assessment of the International Crisis Group, the latest U.S. proposals will be inadequate. While the IGC supports the principle of decoupling the constitution-making process from the transfer of sovereignty, it warns that for the political process to build the necessary legitimacy it would have to unfold under the supervision of the UN rather than the CPA.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the government of Tony Blair is calling for a revision of coalition strategy in Iraq, with a strong emphasis on developing a strategy to draw the country's Sunni community into the transition process. One option the British are proposing is to allow a reconstituted Baath Party to participate in the democratic process.
Ghasan Salameh of the UN mission in Iraq, writing in the Daily Star, offers the U.S. ten ways to turn Iraq around. His first suggestion is the "liberate" Iraq from the designs of those who envisage the occupation as the first step in a grand strategy to remake the Middle East.
SHOCK AND AWE II Congressional Research Service analyst Kenneth Katzman warns that the Iraqi forces to whom Washington envisages transferring security responsibility are not up to the job.
Following a two-week period in which upward of 77 coalition troops were killed in action in Iraq, the U.S. military launched a series of raids using heavy weaponry directed at guerrilla strongholds. F-16s, artillery, mortars, tanks, even satellite-guided missiles have been fired at empty buildings associated with the insurgency, in the hope that the awesome display of firepower will intimidate Sunni Iraqis into ending support for the guerrillas. But analysts warn that these actions may actually reinforce support for the insurgency.
(Reuters, November 19, 2003)
Council on Foreign Relations fellow and former Reagan administration official Lawrence Korb says the Iraq security situation is worse than U.S. officials concede, and that there are deep differences Bremer's civil administration and the U.S. military over counterinsurgency tactics. Korb believes Washington is failing to adjudicate in these disputes.
The CSIS's Cordesman provides a detailed assessment of U.S. military operations on the ground in Iraq, available as a pdf download from the CSIS site.
TURKEY BOMBING SHOWS NEW AL-QAEDA STRATEGY
The terror attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul are the latest sign of a shift in al-Qaeda's strategy, analysts believe. Bin Laden's network is now relying on sympathizers and allied local organizations in different parts of the world to strike at targets of opportunity that accord with the movement's broad aims. It has exported its "brand" and is now able to claim attacks in which its central structures have had little, if any direct input.
(LA Times, November 19, 2003)
U.S. AND EUROPE SPLIT OVER IRAN
The Bush administration is heading for a familiar clash with European Union countries over how to ensure Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Only this time, Britain shares the position of France and Germany that constructive engagement and a carrot-and-stick approach is preferable to the U.S. approach of seeking confrontation via the UN Security Council. And right now, neither side appears willing to back down.
(Financial Times, November 19, 2003)
The New York Times reports that the International Atomic Energy Agency looks set to rebuff the Bush administration's demands on Iran.
PUTIN'S DILEMMA CDI analyst Dr. Nikolai Zlobin writes that the Yukos showdown signals a change in U.S.-Russia relations, with the Kremlin sounding a warning that Washington can no longer hope to deal with Russia on the terms established in the Yeltsin era.
Robert Cottrell reviews the literature on Vladimir Putin's Russia, and finds the president caught between the competing impulses of fostering economic growth and maintaining political control. Those tensions have come to a head in the strategically vital oil industry, which has sparked his showdown with Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
(New York Review of Books, November - December, 2003)
The BBC reports that Putin's defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, is now openly advocating a return to greater state control over Russia's oil resources.
WHO KILLED DANNY PEARL?
William Dalrymple reviews two recent books on the murder of American journalist Danny Pearl, and concludes that Pearl was a victim of the deeper malaise afflicting Pakistan -- years of official tolerance for Islamist extremism and terrorism. And while the Pakistani security forces are now acting vigorously against al-Qaeda, they continue to allow large Taliban fighting units and Kashmiri insurgents to operate from their territory.
(New York Review of Books, November - December, 2003)
CHINA'S ECONOMIC RISE WILL CARRY OTHERS ALONG
The giant has awoken, and China's economy continues to shift gears upward in an epic transformation of the global economic landscape. David Hale and Lyric Hughes Hale argue that while China's surge unnerves its neighbors and trading partners, it will ultimately be to their benefit.
(Foreign Affairs, November - December, 2003)
PALESTINIANS INCH TOWARDS A NEW TRUCE
Now that the infighting in the Palestinian Authority has quieted down and pressure is mounting inside Israel for the government of Ariel Sharon to show progress towards a political solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, diplomats and politicians are crisscrossing the West Bank and Gaza brokering a new "hudna," a unilateral cease-fire to be adopted by Palestinian armed groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad in exchange for indirect undertakings by the Israelis to end assassinations.
(Haaretz, November 17, 2003)
Alliance of equals?
The British prime minister put on a brave face and said this was the best possible time for a state visit by President George Bush, and both men passionately defended their decision to go to war in Iraq. Still, the consensus among British analysts is that the visit will hurt the prime minister. The reason is not because of the protests, which were nowhere near the scale of prewar demonstrations. (Good thing Bush didn't stay through the weekend!) It was precisely because of Blair and Bush's affirmation of the closeness of transatlantic ties that the problem arises: Britain has a number of specific demands, such as ending U.S. steel tariffs and providing due process for a number of Britons detained at Guantanamo. It is also critical of the Bush administration's handling of the transition in Iraq, and of the Middle East peace process. Yet for all President Bush's protestations of deep mutual respect, he hasn't given Blair much to buttress the argument that by remaining so close to Washington Britain achieves a commensurate measure of influence over its actions. Bush's visit once again confirms the extent of Blair's subordinate status in the relationship, and that will do the British leader more damage than any number of antiwar protestors.
President Bush's speech to a forum hosted by London's International Institute for Strategic Studies.
(Economist, November 20, 2003)
Bush and Blair's efforts to convince the British public of the correctness of the decision to invade Iraq won't be helped by a statement by Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, to the effect that the war contravened international law. Speaking the same day as the President, Perle said international law would have required leaving Saddam unmolested, but that would have been an immoral choice. But Blair has sought, all along, to insist that the war had scrupulously followed international law. The British, after all, are sticklers for that sort of thing.
Security Policy Working Group
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