Biden: Divide Iraq into three regions
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
He said the division of Iraq would follow the example of Bosnia a decade ago when that war-torn country was partitioned into ethnic federations under the U.S.-brokered Dayton Accords.
Biden billed his plan as a "third option" beyond the "false choice" of continuing the Bush administration policy of nurturing a unity government in Iraq or withdrawing U.S. troops immediately.
As part of the plan, the United States should withdraw most of its troops from Iraq by 2008, except for a small force to combat terrorism, Biden said.
Under Biden's proposal, the Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security. The central government would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues.
Powell advised Bush to send more troops to Iraq:
Separately, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday defended the Bush administration's Iraq war planning after her predecessor, Colin Powell, said he had made a case to send more troops to deal with the war's aftermath.
Rice also said she did not "remember specifically" what instance Powell was referring to on his recommending to President George W. Bush that more troops be sent.
In an interview with a private British television station on Sunday, Powell said there had been debates about the size of the force and how to deal with the aftermath.
"I don't think we had enough force there to impose order," he said on ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby program.
"The aftermath turned out to be much more difficult than anyone had anticipated," said Powell, adding he had favored a larger military presence to deal with the unforeseen.
"I made the case to General (Tommy) Franks, to (Defense) Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld and to the president that I was not sure we had enough troops," Powell said. But he said the military leaders felt they had the appropriate number.
Powell's comments come amid concern about the rising death toll in Iraq, which has been a factor in driving Bush's approval ratings to the lowest of his presidency.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq has grown to nearly 2,400. Iraqi military deaths are estimated at up to 6,370 and Iraqi civilian deaths at up to 38,600.
Rice, appearing on several Sunday talk shows, was responding to Powell's comments that fanned the controversy over the administration's plans for the invasion's immediate aftermath. Critics say violence and looting set the stage for a bloody insurgency and sectarian killings over the last three years.
Asked on CNN's Late Edition if she remembered Powell's dissent, Rice said, "I don't remember specifically what Secretary Powell may be referring to, but I'm quite certain that there were lots of discussions about how best to fulfill the mission when we went into Iraq."
She said Bush relied on his military advisers, and that he "asked time and time again" whether everything needed to execute the plan was available, "and he was told 'yes'."
Rice added that there would have been "potentially a lot of problems with a very, very big footprint of coalition forces at the time of the liberation of Iraq."
On CBS' Face the Nation, she said, "I'm quite certain that there are things that, in retrospect, we would do differently. But that's the nature of any big complicated operation."
After the invasion, Rumsfeld said U.S. military commanders believed there were sufficient troops to contain insurgents and establish peace.
However, troop levels were later increased amid escalating violence and to establish security in time for elections.
Bush has not set a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal, saying American soldiers will pull out as Iraqi forces take over fighting Sunni rebels and sectarian violence which has pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.
Rice praised progress made by Iraq's own forces. But to start withdrawing troops, she said on CNN, "We really do want it to be based on conditions on the ground; so do the Iraqis. If there is anything that they recognize, it's that they are not quite ready for these tasks. But they want to take that responsibility, and we should want them to take it.�
Original article posted here.
Warmongering against Russia BEFORE fabricated false flag
Stand up for Georgia
April 27, 2008
By Joseph Biden and Richard Lugar
Earlier this month at the NATO summit, the United States sought to win support for the extension of Membership Action Plans (MAPs) to Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia. These plans are the final preparatory step for states seeking to join the Alliance. Both Ukraine and Georgia have established themselves as Western-looking democracies and are worthy candidates for NATO membership
Unfortunately, some NATO members balked in the face of strong Russian opposition, and because NATO works by consensus, both countries' bids failed. While the United States failed to secure MAPs, the administration did succeed in securing a pledge in the final communique that in the future, Ukraine and Georgia "will become members of NATO" and that MAPs could be extended as early as December. This was a major success after a damaging setback. While MAP is a tangible step, it does not promise membership. The communique signed by NATO leaders did.
Moscow employed its entire arsenal of military, diplomatic and economic tools to undercut support for the two former Soviet states and to intimidate NATO leaders. Russian President Vladimir Putin went so far as to threaten Ukraine with a nuclear attack while standing beside Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko at a press conference weeks before the Bucharest summit.
The more immediate challenge is the case of tiny Georgia (population 4.6 million). The Kremlin says NATO membership is so unacceptable it is prepared to subvert the territorial integrity of the one-time Soviet Republic in the Caucasus. Moscow is undertaking legal and diplomatic steps that could lead to recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two separatist Georgian territories.
These actions are blatantly designed to undercut the extensive diplomatic proposal offered by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to the separatists, which includes guarantees of broad political representation; an Abkhazian vice president; the right to veto legislation; establishment of a joint free economic zone; and international guarantees of autonomy.
These Russian actions require a timely, robust and intensive diplomatic response from Washington. This issue will not resolve itself, and significant U.S. interests are at stake.
Georgia is an important friend to the United States. Most of the country's young leadership was educated in America and, after assuming power, quickly sought to join Western institutions. Georgians have made welcome military contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The country hosts a large segment of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Western markets.
President Saakashvili has made impressive democratic and economic strides in the face of intense pressure from Russia. These machinations have included energy cutoffs in the middle of winter; military incursions and threats to Georgian territory; a blockade on trade; and massive subversive intelligence operations. Just this week, a Russian MiG shot down an unmanned Georgian surveillance drone as it flew over Abkhazia.
Russia is clearly trying to provoke the Georgians into an over-reaction that will tarnish Georgia's image in the West. To its great credit, Tbilisi has so far chosen the path of restraint and negotiation, as evidenced by Mr. Saakashvili's magnanimous diplomatic initiative.
But Georgia cannot win this standoff alone. A peaceful solution will require U.S. leadership, and engagement by the rest of NATO. Those NATO members who thought they could appease Moscow by denying Georgia a MAP have already learned a hard lesson. Days after the summit ended, the Russian government took further steps to pry the two breakaway regions from Georgia.
It is time for Europe to get off the fence. The European states must engage Moscow and make clear that its actions in Georgia are unacceptable and inconsistent with the assumption that several European governments made in blocking MAP for Georgia.
A peaceful solution to the crisis is possible if we act now. Washington must lead an intensive international diplomatic counteroffensive against Russia's efforts to destabilize Georgia and the region. The process should start by internationalizing the negotiations and peacekeeping missions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which until now have been dominated by Moscow.
The trans-Atlantic community must understand that Russia's actions are not directed solely at Georgia. They are also aimed squarely at NATO itself, whose peaceful expansion Russia has long opposed. Russia hopes to instigate confrontational responses and prolong the territorial crisis to further complicate Georgia's NATO aspirations.
America and its allies must not fall into this trap. Georgia has done its part by refusing to overreact and continues to seek a diplomatic solution. The time has come for the trans-Atlantic community to show unity and commitment. The administration should seek and our NATO allies should provide commitments to offer MAPs to Georgia and Ukraine at the next NATO meeting in December.
Joseph Biden, Delaware Democrat, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Richard Lugar, Indiana Republican, is ranking minority member on the committee.
More warmongering after Georgia trip
Biden Calls For $1 Billion In Emergency Aid To Georgia
By Daniel W. Reilly
(The Politico) Fresh off a trip to the Republic of Georgia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden said he will ask for $1 billion in emergency aid for the war torn country.
Biden, who is rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obamaĺs list of running mates, met with Georgia's president and prime minister on the trip, further burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of Obamaĺs decision.
"I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism," said Biden.
"When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia, with a substantial down payment on that aid to be included in the Congress' next supplemental spending bill."
While the Russian government has claimed that the Georgian military was engaged in a "genocide" in the region of South Ossetia, Biden said he did not see any evidence of it on his trip.
Biden said the $1 billion would "help the people of Georgia to rebuild their country and preserve its democratic institutions."
The senator also issued a terse warning to the former Soviet Union, saying that "Russiaĺs actions in Georgia will have consequences."
Original article posted here.