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November 9, 2003
Losing Faith?

The US government appears to be losing faith in the Iraqi Governing Council and may be considering alternatives:

Increasingly alarmed by the failure of Iraq's Governing Council to take decisive action, the Bush administration is developing possible alternatives to the council to ensure that the United States can turn over political power at the same time and pace that troops are withdrawn, according to senior U.S. officials here and in Baghdad.

The United States is deeply frustrated with its hand-picked council members because they have spent more time on their own political or economic interests than in planning for Iraq's political future, especially selecting a committee to write a new constitution, the officials added. "We're unhappy with all of them. They're not acting as a legislative or governing body, and we need to get moving," said a well-placed U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "They just don't make decisions when they need to."

Read on. Not entirely encouraging, and I get more than a hint of impatience. The Afghanistan model may be workable as well, but I think we need to give the IRC more than 90 days to get organized; otherwise, we look so impatient to get out that we undermine the entire philosophy of our mission. This is going to be a long and frustrating experience, but that doesn't mean it won't be ultimately rewarding. Of course, it doesn't mean we shouldn't adjust when required either, but expecting a fully-functioning transitional government to coalesce in 90 days, after 35 years of Stalinism, is expecting too much.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 9, 2003 11:50 AM

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