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Daily Column
Getting Back in the Game at Walter Reed, "The Surge" Book
Another very light day for Iraq news. Though the death of Robert S. McNamara led to a few indirect Iraq references, and the Washington Post picked up an AP briefing of violence in Baghdad and Mosul, there really wasn’t much today, and nothing filed from Iraq. There was a piece on disabled veterans, a book review, and an opinion.

IN the Wall Street Journal, John Nagl (president of the Center for a New American Security) and Daniel Rice (partner and co-founder of The Marshall Fund), both graduates of West Point who have served in Iraq, write that America must more effectively shift its focus from combat to post-conflict operations. Though millions are being spent on reconstruction, short-term needs are what is being paid-attention to, not sustainable development.
Instead of spending billions of taxpayer dollars for short-term programs, the enterprise funds could create long-term growth and employment in Iraq while giving U.S. taxpayers a return on their investment in the form of a share of profits going back to the USAID -- while appreciably diminishing support for the insurgency.

As we withdraw from Iraq's cities we must seek to replace our bases with businesses. An...
Daily Column
Diplomats Are Casting About to Find a New Formula to Influence Politics in Iraq
Well, US papers relied largely on wire stories today for their Iraq material. For original work, we have only the New York Times, with a “where we are now” piece worth reading.

From Baghdad
Alissa J. Rubin gives us some analysis of an emerging Iraq with everyday decisions increasingly being made by Iraqis, instead of the guests who invited themselves over six years ago.

Now more than ever, American military and civilian officials do not have the daily contact with national, local, military and tribal leaders, decreasing their influence greatly. Iraqis are operating without their English-speaking buffers, now somewhat out of the loop – something neither side is very used to.
As they deal with Iraqi politics, the Americans must find a new tone. They have a reputation for being heavy-handed, for telling Iraqis what to do rather than asking what they want — a legacy of the period when Americans were in charge as an occupying force. Now that Iraq is in most respects a sovereign country, that approach only generates hostility.
Rubin discusses an Obama administration Iraq policy that has seemed distant to many...
Daily Column
France Hopes to Jump-Start Its Arms Sales With Iraq, A War's Young Witness
Biden says that it is the going gets tough, the Americans will get going.
Also, France ratchets up efforts to get arms/training/reconstruction contracts in Iraq, and a young diarist in Baghdad has chronicled growing up in conflict.

From Baghdad
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told Iraqi leaders on Friday that he and President Obama were committed to helping them resolve their political differences, but not if sectarian violence returned, “because one, the American people would have no interest in doing that, and as he put it, neither would he or the president.” He added that there "wasn't any appetite to put Humpty Dumpty back together again if, by the action of people in Iraq, it fell apart." (-not sure how that translated on Iraqi news).

Nada Bakri of the Washington Post has the most indicators of how the meetings are going, and of Iraqi reaction, including resentment over the ongoing US “surprise visits” which seem strange and disrespectful to many Iraqis.
Even the interaction of officials seems to have changed. Early Friday, Biden's aides huddled with advisers to Ayad al-Samarraie, the speaker of Iraq's parliament, trying to figure out a time the two men...
Iraq Moves Up Bids For Next Oil Fields
BP-Led Oil Consortium Faces Challenges in Iraq
Iraqis Celebrate US Troops' Pullback, Oil Companies Reject Iraq's Contract Terms
On Eve of U.S. Pullback, US Forces' New Role is Still Evolving
Anxiety, Pride in Iraq for Iraqis as U.S. Troops Leave Iraq's Cities
No Ban on Mine-Resistant Vehicles in Iraqi Cities, Oil Auction
Stoking Fears, Baghdad Bombs Kill About a Dozen
7 Bombs Strike in Iraq as Violence Spreads, MEK, Oil
Why Mosul is a Special Case, A Different Struggle for Power
Worrying Signs for Post-Withdrawal Falluja, A Look at Oil Minister Shahristani
Some US Soldiers Likely to Stay Behind in Mosul, "What Iraq Can Teach Iran"
Uneasy Iraq Weighs Implications of Political Crisis Next Door
200 Wounded in Blast, Remains of 2 Britons Believed to be Kidnapping Victims
10 Days Before US Leaves Iraq's Cities, None of the News That's Fit to Print
War Funding Bill Passes Senate, Hard Times for Iraqi Refugees in US
Iraqi Politicians Are More Quiet Than Usual, Iraqi Arrested in Shooting of MP
Mental Health Counselor Killed in Camp Victory Shooting Laid to Rest

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