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Brzezinski Wants Orderly Iraq Withdrawal

Since the United States has not and will not commit sufficient troops to strangle the insurgency, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski believes the U.S. occupation is only making things worse. "We are not achieving anything but permitting violence to percolate," he said. Photo courtesy AFP
by Pamela Hess
UPI Pentagon Correspondent
Washington (UPI) May 26, 2006
Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser under U.S. President Jimmy Carter, laid out a four-step plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq Thursday. Brzezinski advocated a fundamental shift in the American approach to Iran, and caution on the recent nuclear deal with India.

The former national security advisor, now a trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told reporters that the United States should speak privately with the new Iraqi government and together decide on a date of departure for U.S. troops.

"Some [Iraqi leaders] will say 'absolutely not.' Those leaders would leave the moment we leave," he said.

Second, the United States and Iraq should announce the date publicly as a joint decision for an orderly disengagement, Brzezinski said.

Third, the Iraqi government would invite all adjoining Muslim countries and those whose interests are at stake in Iraq -- Pakistan, Algeria and Morocco, among others -- to a conference on how they will contribute to stability in Iraq, he said.

And fourth, the United States should organize a donors conference for all nations with a stake in Iraqi oil to come up with funds and a plan to rehabilitate Iraq's economy, he said.

"I believe that program is not cutting and running," Brzezinski said.

Since the United States has not and will not commit sufficient troops to strangle the insurgency, Brzezinski believes the U.S. occupation is only making things worse. "We are not achieving anything but permitting violence to percolate," he said.

Brzezinski said he believed the United States should negotiate directly with Iran over its uranium enrichment program, rather than through the proxies of the European Trio, or EU3 nations of Britain, France and Germany. The United States has engaged North Korea directly over similar issues.

Moreover, he would invite Russia and China into the negotiations, both of which have veto powers over any United Nations Security Council resolution that would sanction Iran for its nuclear program.

"Both are needed if pressure is to be put on Iran ... so the costs of non-accommodation are higher, and the benefits of accommodation are higher," he said.

Brzezinski said the United States had created a "false sense of urgency" over Iran's program that has "resulted in a lot of loose talk about all the options being on the table" -- a thinly veiled threat of a military strike.

Refusing to deal directly with Iran, in part to avoid further empowering them and to prevent telegraphing to the rest of the world that the way to force the United States to the table is by developing nuclear weapons, is "strategically counterproductive," he said.

"If you are not interested in negotiating, any excuse will do," Brzezinski said. "We have to ask ourselves, 'What is the alternative?' I don't see one."

He said the United States should adopt a policy similar to that which won the Cold War - dividing the enemy, and uniting our allies. "We've done exactly the opposite with Iran," he said.

Brzezinski rejected the entire approach to foreign policy since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks -- the notion that either a country is with the United States, or against it.

"It's a traditional Leninist slogan," he said, used by Lenin to justify the destruction of the Social Democrats in pre-Soviet Russia. "That's not exactly the way to mobilize friends ... We are pursuing a policy which in effect unites our enemies and divides our friends."

Brzezinski also urged caution in the new deal to give India civilian nuclear plant technology despite the fact it has developed nuclear weapons in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. He said eight of the Indian nuclear plants that produce plutonium -- the preferred nuclear material in a warhead -- will not be open to inspections from international agencies and could provide India with material to dramatically increase the size of its nuclear arsenal.

That will have cascading effects in Pakistan, a nation the United States is trying to stabilize, and on China, which the United States is concerned about as a rising military competitor. Both see themselves in regional competition with India, and India's nuclear program might spark a fresh arms race, he said.

China is believed to now have 18 nuclear missiles aimed at the United States, a strategy of minimal deterrence -- just enough to discourage an American attack.

"Will the Chinese maintain the same position if India produces 50 nuclear weapons a year?" Brzezinski asked.

Source: United Press International

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US to keep force levels in Iraq 'to win'
Washington (AFP) May 25, 2006
US President George W. Bush on Thursday refused to set a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq following the creation of its new government, saying "we will keep the force level there necessary to win".

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