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President Bush's misguided and poorly planned war in Iraq has forced America into a precarious position and left Iraq in a tenuous state with no real security or political blueprint. To help move the process forward in a constructive manner, the Center for American Progress has developed a comprehensive plan for security and reconstruction in Iraq. As a first and necessary step, President Bush should immediately convene an emergency International Summit on Iraq to enlist support for a strategic shift and to strike concrete agreements with our partners.

  • Primary Political Recommendation: The UN should authorize the creation of an international High Representative for Iraq. The High Representative would take responsibility for enforcing and ensuring the transition from the Iraqi caretaker government proposed by UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi. While the Iraqi caretaker government would assume significant authority over the state of affairs in Iraq, the High Representative would possess emergency powers to veto controversial laws, policies, budgetary items, and government appointments.
  • Primary Security Recommendation: Give NATO command of security operations in Iraq. The Administration should request that NATO assume command of security and stabilization operations in Iraq. And to meet security needs, the total number of military forces, including American and international troops, should be increased to at least 200,000. The mission's security mandate should include efforts for countering the insurgency; improving security and controlling borders; and protecting humanitarian and reconstruction efforts.
  • Primary Reconstruction Recommendation: Create the Iraqi Transition and Reconstruction Fund. The activities of the Transition and Reconstruction Fund should have a triple mandate: first, to build and sustain Iraqi capacity in preparation for the ascendance of an elected government; second, to develop, for consideration by the elected Iraqi government, a detailed proposal for an Oil Trust Fund; and third, to ensure that there is no gap in payment of civil service salaries, through the Iraqi national budget, during the transition period. The activities of the Transition and Reconstruction Fund would be closely coordinated with the International Reconstruction Fund Facility established and led by the UN and World Bank.

Read the full report and recommendations entitled, Iraq: A Strategy for Progress.

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