Washington D.C., Asharq Al-Awsat – The White House released a 35-page document on Wednesday entitled “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. Prepared by the National Security Council, it outlines President George W. Bush’s strategy in Iraq and addresses criticism that his government has no clear plan for winning the war.
The document, seen by Asharq al Awsat said the US strategy for victory was “clear” and would be achieved by helping “the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe heaven for terrorists.”
Washington was set to concentrate on three tracks, political, military and economic in its quest to achieve victory in Iraq .
In an indication the US administration was considering a gradual withdrawal of US troops form Iraq, the document said, “We expect but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience.”
“While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize”, the document added.
This presents a radical change in the White House’s position, which did not consider the idea of withdrawal or reducing the troop numbers or even change the make-up of its forces.
Adopting a realistic tone, the document indicated that victory in Iraq will require time, “Many challenges remain: Iraq is overcoming decades of vicious tyranny, where government authority stemmed solely from fear, terror and brutality. It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies… less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power.”
The document emphasized categorically that a U.S victory in Iraq will not take place according to a timetable. “With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a certain date. No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one.”
The latest document comes as rumors circulating in Washington claimed the Bush administration planned to withdraw gradually and rely on warplanes to raid suspected insurgent targets, thereby minimizing casualties.