Kissinger’s view

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Mil­i­tary vic­tory is no longer pos­si­ble in Iraq, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television in­ter­view on Nov. 19.

Mr. Kissinger pre­sented a bleak vi­sion of Iraq, say­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment must en­ter into di­a­logue with Iraq’s re­gional neigh­bors — in­clud­ing Iran — if progress is to be made in the re­gion.

“If you mean by ‘mil­i­tary vic­tory’ an Iraqi gov­ern­ment that can be es­tab­lished and whose writ runs across the whole coun­try, that gets the civil war un­der con­trol and sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence un­der con­trol in a time pe­riod that the po­lit­i­cal pro­cesses of the democ­ra­cies will sup­port, I don’t be­lieve that is pos­si­ble,” he told the Bri­tish Broad­cast­ing Corp.

But Mr. Kissinger, who has ad­vised Pres­i­dent Bush about Iraq, warned against a rapid with­drawal of coali­tion troops, say­ing it could desta­bi­lize Iraq’s neigh­bors and cause a long-last­ing con­flict, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

“A dra­matic col­lapse of Iraq — what­ever we think about how the sit­u­a­tion was cre­ated — would have dis­as­trous con­se­quences for which we would pay for many years, and which would bring us back, one way or an­other, into the re­gion,” he said.

Mr. Kissinger, whose views have been sought by the Iraqi Study Group, led by for­mer Sec­re­tary of State James A. Baker III, called for an­in­ter­na­tion­al­con­fer­ence­bring­ing to­geth­erthep­er­ma­nent­mem­ber­sof the U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, Iraq’s neigh­bor­san­dre­gion­alpow­erssuch as In­dia and Pak­istan to work out a way for­ward for the re­gion.

“I think we have to re­de­fine the course, but I don’t think that the al­ter­na­tive is be­tween mil­i­tary vic- tory, as de­fined pre­vi­ously, or to­tal with­drawal,” he said.

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