Tuesday, November 14, 2006

progressives for progress in iraq

assuming a diplomatic solution to the war in iraq involves:

1. cooperation with iraq's neighbors

2. synchronization with the interests of iraq's neighbors

3. fullfillment of our promise to bring greater stability to the region

then the countries most likely to be directly involved include:

saudi arabia

of these countries, we should probably:

1. rule out (at least in the short term) cooperation with iran.

2. secure public political support from saudi arabia, israel, and pakistan.

3. strengthen support with egypt (egypt is home to the league of arab states, and has recently sent boutros boutros-ghali to head the united nations. although egypt has been sited for human rights abuses, there is a growing reform movement, "kifaya").

3. build support with turkey (perhaps leveraging their desire to join the eu by softening up key european states)

4. redeploy troops from iraq to afghanistan (such a redeployment should involve close cooperation with international bodies such as the un and the red crescent)

5. encourage internal political reforms in kuwait.

6. encourage regional efforts with syria (i.e., host a summit)

7. to get the ball rolling, greatly increase direct assistance (both political and economic) to jordan and lebanon (especially jordan)


borders syria, iraq, saudi arabia, and israel. shares gulf of acaba with egypt.

jordanians are generally well-educated and pro-western; jordan supported united nations sanctions against iraq. this would seem to be a good groundwork for a constructive relationship.

jordan should be financially compensated for our roles (direct and indirect) in iraq and the arab-israeli war. a support agreement may supplement or resemble the eu-jordan association agreement.

the egypt connection is politically important: jordan shares many tourists with egypt, and egypt has a generally progressive attitude towards us and key allies (such as israel and japan). egypt is also the home of the arab league of

direct assistance could also be an incentive to improve jordanian relations with israel (such as the ending of certain official discriminations against jews).

a stronger jordan may be very good for the region, but may threaten syria. hosting a summit involving jordan and syria may help dissipate this perceived threat.


borders syria and israel. lebanese are generally entreprenurial; lebanon has a demand for tourism, and was once known as the banking capitol of the arab world.

lebanon should be financially compensated (perhaps through trade agreements) for our (indirect) role in the arab-israeli war; the 2006 israeli conflict was especially painful to lebanon because they are still recovering from a civil war. moreover, the redirection of funds to rebuilding efforts puts lebanon in a difficult situation because lebanon has few natural resources and depends heavily on regional commerce. the growing popular reform movements should be encouraged.

we should foster support for a un peacekeeping and rebuilding operation in southern lebanon (israel shouldn't object to this).

hopefully genuine good will in the region will be perceived as indirect good will towards iran. diplomacy in iraq will require a broad, coordinated effort and a serious financial committment, but in the long run, peace should be cheaper than war. right?

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