Kerry’s plan for Iraq dissected

by on October 4th, 2004

Yes, he really does have one.

It’s here.

The second paragraph contradicts the first. (“Mission not accomplished” followed by “Saddam’s regime has ended.”)

Other than that, here’s his four-point plan to which he referred to in the debtate:

1. Internationalize, because others must share the burden;

Obviously, we already have Britain, Poland, Australia, South Korea, Italy and many more nations helping with troops, and Japan and others helping with funding, but let’s read what Kerry says in particular:

  • Persuade NATO to make the security of Iraq one of its global missions and to deploy a portion of the force needed to secure and win the peace in Iraq.
  • Convene a summit of the world’s major powers as well as states in the region, and key Arab and Muslim nations, followed by a standing Contact Group to consult on the way forward, and press them to make good on the steps called for in UN Security Council Resolution 1546: providing troops; providing trainers for Iraq’s security forces; providing a special brigade to protect the U.N. mission; and providing more financial assistance and real debt relief. Offer potential troop contributors specific and relatively low-risk but critical roles, such as training Iraqi security personnel and securing Iraq’s borders.
  • Give other countries a stake in Iraq’s future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq’s oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process.

Of course, President Bush has already conducted such summits, most notably in Portugal. And, as Bush pointed out in the debates, Japan is hosting another summit soon.

Kerry knows this, and he also knows that the rest of the large militaries in the world either won’t send troops (Germany, Russia, France, Spain, & the Middle Eastern nations) and/or we don’t want them to (China, India, Israel) or are tied up elsewhere (African Union). There simply are not many countries with the ability to project force overseas. They don’t have the reserves to send. In a later post I hope to show exactly what percentage of their militaries our allies have sent to Iraq already.

2. Train Iraqis, because they must be responsible for their own security;

Right. We’re already doing this. The only thing the Kerry campaign adds is that they’re going to offer more incentives! Standardized training! More training! Yeesh. The only even remotely new proposal is to recruit trainers from our allies, and I have to think this has already been done or tried.

3. Move forward with reconstruction because that’s an important way to stop the spread of terror;

Golly, thanks for telling us. We’re already moving forward with reconstruction. We’ve built huge electicity plants, roads, water and sanitation facilities, and a host of other public works. Kerry’s plan is, “Well, I’d do the same thing — but better!” His bold moves: Not use large companies like Halliburton and fire the people in the Pentagon responsible for reconstruction so far.

What an idiot. He wants to use Iraqis to do the things that Halliburton does? Does he even know what Halliburton does? The reason it gets so many DOD contracts is that very few American companies can do what Halliburton does. Much less Iraqis, which John F. Kerry thinks don’t have facilities for clean water.

4. Help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it is up to them to run their own country.

No kidding. Bush said as much in the debate and has said so since Saddam was tossed out. Kerry’s plan still says that we should recruit more allies, which is so amazingly stupid that I want to reach through my computer monitor and slap him. We have done everything we could to recruit allies. We even delayed the war by twelve long months (which allowed Saddam to hide and export his weapons program) while we jumped through diplomatic hoops. It’s true that some foreign leaders loathe Bush to such a degree that a new president might have more influence with them, but the only difference that that is going to have is that they say, “No, sorry” instead of “no chance.” France, Germany, and Russia have already declared that they won’t be changing their minds if Kerry becomes president. So whom is he going to turn to?

All four of his points are already in the Bush plan, which has the advantage of being connected with reality.

If Kerry genuinely had a better plan for the war on terrorism, he might be able to sway people his way. But saying “we’ll do the same things, but better and with more allies!” is not convincing to anyone.

I.J. Reilly