Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A leading Republican Senator talking war strategy

Richard G. Lugar - Beyond Baghdad :
"But the pendulum of Middle East politics may be swinging back against Iranian assertiveness. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf states and others have become increasingly alarmed by Iran's behavior and by widening regional sectarian divisions. Because of this dynamic, U.S. bargaining power in the Middle East is growing. Moderate Arab states understand that the United States is an indispensable counterweight to Iran.

This opens up opportunities for solidifying our broader strategic objectives, and it offers a backup option in Iraq. Even as the president's Baghdad strategy goes forward, we need to plan for a potent redeployment of U.S. forces in the region to defend oil assets, target terrorist enclaves, deter adventurism by Iran and provide a buffer against regional sectarian conflict. In the best case, we could supplement bases in the Middle East with troops stationed outside urban areas in Iraq. Such a redeployment would allow us to continue training Iraqi troops and delivering economic assistance, but it would not require us to interpose ourselves between Iraqi sectarian factions."
What's that you say? A Republican Senator raising redeployment and an emphasis on regional states becoming a necessary part of countering Iran. This is good news...

Also worth a read today is this article on Iran's increasing power in the region, expanding in more depth on issues Lugar raises.