Monday, September 10, 2007

Leading Security Experts on Petraeus Report

The National Security Network has released a video it calls "Crisis in Confidence: The Politics and Policy of the Petraeus Report," in which "leading experts such as Richard Clarke, Jon Alterman, and Mara Rudman" provide "frank assessments of the Bush administration's flawed Iraq strategy":

The six minute film features assessments from experts who've spent their careers analyzing the Middle East, sharing their outrage over the decisions that have put American lives at risk, and today's report by General Petraeus to Congress.

"They don't want to talk about Iraq. They don't want to talk about the problems happening there. So every time a new strike happens there, a new attack occurs, more Americans lives are lost, their default response has been "why don't we just wait for the Petraeus report" when all along they know they're going to write and shape that report." Said Jano Cabrera, who served as a political advisor in Iraq in 2005.

"David Petraeus's report is not David Petraeus's report. It's going to be written by the White House. It's going to be edited by the White House" says Richard A. Clarke, senior counterterrorism advisor to President Bush on September 11 and now President of Good Harbor Consulting. "The issue is, why the hell are we there in the first place?"

"Our troops do a fantastic job wherever they are, but those are not improvements that are sustainable over any period of time without having a political solution in place," said Mara Rudman, former National Security Council Chief of Staff and editor of Middle East Progress at the Center for American Progress.

"We will continue to stretch and strain and break our military...until we have a force that is...unable to defend the United States over the long term," said NSN President Rand Beers, former counterterrorism official in the Bush White House and a former Marine Corps officer. "If something were to happen anywhere in the world, we would be stretched thin and we'd be hard pressed to get anybody else to help us."

In addition to Cabrera, Clarke, Rudman, and Beers, the film also features Roger Cressey, former counterterrorism advisor in the Bush White House, Ilan Goldenberg, policy director of the National Security Network, and Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"This is politics and what's at stake is whether the..American public says 'I don't buy it'" says Alterman.

"I don't think the lives of our troops are what we need to be spending here. The lives of our troops are far too important to be wasting them for the Iraqis' political reconciliation," concludes Clarke

Via Think Progress.

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