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Iraq Partition Called Wholly Unacceptable But Formal Policy Review Underway

Photo courtesy of AFP.

General told Maliki that Shiite militias must go
Washington (AFP) Nov 15 - The top US general in the Middle East said he told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki he must disband the Shiite militias "very soon." General John Abizaid, the head of the US Central Command, told a Senate committee that US and Iraqi forces have four to six months to get the levels of sectarian violence down before it tips into civil war. "He must disband the Shiite militia," Abizaid said, referring to Maliki. Abizaid, who met with Maliki on Monday in Baghdad, was asked how soon the militias must be disbanded. "I said very soon," Abizaid said. The general's testimony came the day after as many as 150 people were kidnapped at Iraq's Ministry of Higher Education in a brazen, daylight operation blamed on Shiite militias.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
Partition of Iraq along sectarian lines is "wholly unacceptable" to the United States, a senior State Department official said Wednesday, warning of the high cost in human suffering. "Partition in Iraq could only be achieved at an expense of human suffering and bloodshed and forced dislocation that would be both profound and wholly unacceptable, I believe, to the American people," said Ambassador David Satterfield, the State Department's coordinator of Iraq policy.

"It is wholly unacceptable to this administration," he told a Senate hearing after being asked about partition as an option for stabilizing Iraq.

earlier related report
Formal internal review of US Iraq policy underway: Hadley
President George W. Bush has launched an internal review of US policy in Iraq, national security advisor Stephen Hadley confirmed Wednesday. He said that a review by different parts of the administration -- the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department and the National Security Council (NSC) -- had been underway "fairly discreetly" for weeks.

Hadley added that Bush met Tuesday with his top national security advisors and ordered the internal review process be integrated in a single report by the NSC.

"What we've done is formalize an informal process that has been going on ... this needs to be done in conjunction with Iraqis, because at the end of the day it's Iraqis that are going to get Iraq right."

Hadley, speaking to reporters aboard the presidential jet en route to Singapore, said the review was not meant to eclipse the work of a bipartisan panel of retired Washington heavyweights that is also studying Iraq policy.

"This is not a competition with the Iraq Study Group," Hadley said, adding that the administration looked forward to considering its recommendations.

The internal review is about a different level of detail, however, such as "what forces would go where and do what, the kind of thing a blue-ribbon panel could never do," Hadley said.

Bush -- under increased pressure to revise Iraq strategy following the Republican electoral defeat last week -- has always insisted that his administration modifies its tactics to adapt to changing conditions on the ground in Iraq.

But the internal review is a new indication that a more substantial policy change could be in the works.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Iraq: The first techonology war of the 21st century

US Commander Says Iraq Force Must Not Be Reduced
Washington (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
The US military commander for the Middle East said Wednesday that American troops levels in Iraq should not be reduced as he faced a barrage of intense and often hostile questioning in Congress. General John Abizaid said that extra troops were also not the answer to the Iraq crisis, though he warned the country could slump into a full blown civil war within four-to-six months if escalating violence was not ended.

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