Chicken and egg

Is security a precondition to political progress in Iraq? Or is it the other way around?

By Tim Grieve
June 8, 2007 8:25PM (UTC)
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George W. Bush insists that his "surge" in Iraq is based on the idea that "Iraqis will not be able to make the political and economic progress they need until they have a basic measure of security."

That's all well and good, except for the fact that the man the president has chosen to be his "war czar" seems to understand things exactly the other way around.


At his confirmation hearing yesterday, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute told Sen. Evan Bayh that, "in the absence of some kind of political and economic steps that are before the Iraqi government now, if they don't make progress on those sorts of reconciliation measures . . . we're not likely to see much difference in the security situation."

And how's that progress coming along? Lute said the Iraqis have "a very full agenda and have shown, so far, very little progress."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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