För den som följer vad som händer i Washington och den framtida amerikanska utrikespolitiken är det ganska intressant vem som kommer att bli nationell säkerhetsrådgivare i en Obama administration.
Bloggen washington note pekar ut James Steinberg som den just nu främst kandidaten till jobbet som under GWB hanterats av Condi Rice och Steven Hadley.
Det blir ju då som Washington Note påpekar ganska intressant att läsa den artikel Steinberg skrev 2004 med en medförfattare om hur ett amerikanskt Irak tillbakadragande skulle kunna ske. Notera att legitima amerikanska säkerhetsintressen ska bevaras i Irak men demokrati promotion blir en sekundär angelägenhet.
Det är en återgång till den politik som George Bush senior och realist skolan av den amerikanska utrikespolitiska etablissemanget som Scowcroft och Brezinski drev.
Set a Date to Pull Out – Brookings Institution
we restore the Iraqi people’s confidence in our role, failure is not
only an option but a likelihood. Critical to achieving our goal is an
announced decision to end the current military deployment by the end of
next year, following the Iraqi adoption of a constitution, together
with greatly intensified training for the Iraqi security forces.
Otherwise, the issue may well be not how long we want to stay but how
soon the Iraqis kick us out.
From the beginning the
administration’s strategy assumed that the United States would be
welcomed as ”liberators” by most Iraqis. Yet the failure of the
U.S.-led provisional authority to provide basic security for many, and
the slow pace of reconstruction, has eroded support for our presence.
The Abu Ghraib outrages and the recent escalation of fighting have
further undermined our position. A majority of Iraqis now believe their
country is worse off than before Saddam Hussein was overthrown,
according to a recent poll.
This dramatic loss of support
undermines the legitimacy of our continued military presence. It also
makes our task of stabilizing the country nearly impossible.
problem is compounded by our own ambivalence about the political
transition in Iraq. Although we defined our mission as liberation, we
have been deeply reluctant to trust the Iraqi people to set their own
course. From the decision to install a handpicked interim governing
council, to our initial reluctance to support early elections for the
limited authority we plan to grant the transition government after June
30, the message is that we will not permit self-determination in Iraq
until Iraqis choose a government that meets our goal: a Western-style
democracy broadly supportive of U.S. interests in the region.
objective was wildly ambitious even before the military operation
began; today it is simply unattainable in the near term. The more we
talk about staying ”as long as it takes” the more it appears we are
trying to impose our vision on Iraq—further alienating the Iraqi
public. The danger is not that we will cut and run but that the Iraqis
will insist that we get out, leaving behind a security vacuum that
could ignite civil war and wider regional strife.
How can we
avoid such a disaster? First, we must make clear that our military
presence in Iraq is designed to permit the Iraqis to freely choose
their own future—even if it is not fully to our liking. We should
indicate not just that we will leave if asked but that we will
ourselves plan to end the deployment of coalition forces following the
election of an Iraqi government and the adoption of a new constitution
next year. We should make clear that we (as part of a wider
international coalition) would be prepared to stay beyond that time—but
only at the request of the new Iraqi government, and as part of a new,
U.N.-sponsored mandate on terms that are acceptable to the new Iraqi
government and to us.
Second, we must be clear about our
legitimate security interests in Iraq. We have a right to insist that a
new Iraqi government not threaten peace and security—by developing
weapons of mass destruction, harboring terrorists or attacking other
nations. And we should certainly seek to use our influence to encourage
a tolerant, pluralist society. But because this is a responsibility
Iraq owes to all, not just us, we should shift the focus away from the
United States as the enforcement arm of the international community to
Iraq’s neighbors and others that share these interests, including NATO
and the United Nations. We should begin by convening a major
international summit on Iraq, involving not only Western allies but
also Arab leaders and Iraqis, at the time of the NATO summit next month
in Istanbul. And we should invite the International Atomic Energy
Agency to play a role in ensuring that a new Iraqi government does not
pursue weapons programs.
Third, we should accelerate the
training and equipping of new security forces for Iraq. Less than 10
percent of the necessary numbers of soldiers and police have been
properly trained to date. Filling this vacuum is critical to the
success of this strategy, because indigenous forces are far more likely
than foreign forces to succeed in defeating the residual Baathist and
foreign fighters in Iraq. If Arab countries and NATO devoted just 10
percent of their police and military training capacity to Iraqi forces,
we could complete an intensified training process by next year.
will see this as cut-and-run. It is not. Unlike the case with most
previous stabilization missions, our own enduring commitment to success
in Iraq is beginning to work against us. It breeds cynicism among
Iraqis that we are like the colonialists of old, planning to stay
indefinitely to keep our hands on their oil and to use Iraq for our
own, broader foreign policy objectives. The lesson of our history is
that our best partners are those who freely choose to be. We must give
the Iraqis the opportunity to seize that possibility for themselves.
(UT Austin LBJ School Dean and potential Obama National Security Advisor candidate James Steinberg)
There are four horses out front — way ahead of everyone else who might be considered.
Brookings Senior Fellow and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs SUSAN RICE, UT Austin LBJ School of Public Policy Dean and former Deputy National Security Advisor JAMES STEINBERG. Willams & Connolly trial lawyer and former special counsel to President Clinton GREGORY CRAIG, and lastly, Washington Institute for Near East Policy counselor and former Clinton Middle East envoy and negotiator DENNIS ROSS.
When I was appearing recently on a special Al Jazeera program on Obama’s Middle East trip with former Israel Ambassador to the US Dany Ayalon, I watched on various screen shots James Steinberg — who preceded Carlos Pascual as head of the foreign policy division at Brookings — ably run interference and ”attend” to Barack Obama during key parts of Obama’s Israel trip. I guess I was surprised that he was there. Then not.
As it turns out, Obama’s recent trip to the West Bank, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany was also a time for auditions by those who might be asked by a President Obama to serve as national security advisor.
From what I have learned, all four continue to impress Obama. Some rumors place Dennis Ross — who recently led a team developing this disconcerting report on US-Israel policy coordination — in the lead. Some say that the combination of his experience and his ”presentation skills” are generating ‘an edge’ for him.
Most of my other sources place James Steinberg out in front. My own assessment of Steinberg is that he is a shrewd thinker. He spends as much time pondering what he doesn’t know as refining what he does — and that’s what an NSC Advisor should do.