Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New General Offers His Own Top Priorities

In testimony worth reading in every detail, General Petreaus offers up his four focus areas, put here to contrast with Negroponte (below):

  1. "The top challenge is providing the security necessary to reduce the cycle of violence in Iraq today.

    This will be a difficult mission and time is not on our side. We must focus on population security, particularly in Baghdad, to give the Iraqi government the breathing space it needs to become more effective.

  2. The second challenge is continuing the development of capable Iraqi Security Forces, relatively free of ethnic and sectarian bias.

    The Iraqi Army has made much progress, but is uneven, and the police remain a challenge.

  3. The third challenge is the integration of the interagency effort to ensure that progress is made along all lines of operation - not just security, but economic, governance, and the rule of law as well.

  4. That is related to the fourth challenge, and that is the lack of capacity of the Iraqi government. Iraq has enormous natural resources and potential wealth. However to take advantage of its blessings, not only must security be improved, but critical national issues must be resolved by the Iraqis, on issues such as national reconciliation, the devolution of power below Baghdad, the distribution of oil wealth, and so on.

    Only through unity of effort of all - coalition and Iraqi, military and civilian - can we bring the full weight of our effot to bear on the difficult situaiton in Iraq.

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