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VICTORY Is Not Defeat

biden Has a Plan…Dumb, But He Has One

biden Has a Plan…Dumb, But He Has One

Saturday, June 02, 2007 7:21 PM

biden’s retarded plan for Iraq…


The debate about Iraq in Washington centers on a false choice that is also a bad choice. Do we continue on President Bush’s failing course and hand the problem off to the next President? Or do we just leave and hope for the best?

There is a third way. Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, and I have proposed a five-point plan to keep Iraq together, protect America’s interests and bring our troops home. We recognize that while leaving Iraq is necessary, it is not a plan. We also need a plan for what we leave behind, so that America’s interests and security are protected. That is what we have proposed.

Sectarian violence among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds is now the major impediment to stability and progress in Iraq. No number of troops can solve that problem. The only way to hold Iraq together and create the conditions for our armed forces to responsibly withdraw is to give Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds a way to share power peacefully.. That requires a sustainable political settlement, which is the primary objective of our plan.

The plan would maintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis local control over their daily lives – as provided for in the Iraqi constitution. The central government would be responsible for common interests, like border security and the distribution of oil revenues. We would secure support from the Sunnis – who have no oil — by guaranteeing them a proportionate share (about 20 percent) of oil revenues and reintegrating them into society. We would increase economic aid, ask the oil-rich Arab Gulf states to fund it and tie all assistance to the protection of minority rights and the creation of a jobs program. We would initiate a major diplomatic offensive to enlist the support of Iraq’s neighbors and create an Oversight Group of the U.N. and the major powers to enforce their commitments. And we would ask our military to draw up plans to responsibly withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq by 2008 – enough time for the political settlement to take hold – while leaving a small force behind to take on terrorists and train Iraqis.

The course we’re on has no end in sight. This plan can allow us to achieve the two objectives most American share: to leave Iraq without leaving chaos behind. I hope you will take the time to read the plan and endorse it by adding your email address to our list of supporters.

Thank you,

Joe Biden, U.S. Senator (D-DE)
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

The Biden-Gelb plan would:

  1. Keep Iraq together by giving its major groups breathing room in their own regions and control over their daily lives. A central government would be left in charge of common interests like defending the borders and distributing oil revenues.
  2. Secure the support of the Sunnis — who have no oil — by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue and reintegrating those with no blood on their hands.
  3. Increase, not end, reconstruction assistance but insist that the oil-rich Arab Gulf states fund it and tie it to the creation of a massive jobs program and to the protection of minority rights.
  4. Initiate a major diplomatic offensive to enlist the support of the major powers and Iraq’s neighbors for a political settlement in Iraq and create an Oversight Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.
  5. Begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by 2008, with a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.

June 10, 2007 - Posted by | Biden, GWOT

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