CPT report challenges U.S. reading of Iraq
Report based on interviews with Iraqi citizens in various parts of the countryby Christian Peacemaker Teams
The future of Iraq is more complex and uncertain than the current U.S. narrative claims, according to a report just published by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq. The report quotes Iraqis who express doubt on the effects of the U.S. military "surge," the trustworthiness of the Iraqi military and the reliability of Iraqi public figures and institutions. Read the report online here.
"Iraqis in this report challenge the simplistic success story that the U.S. is telling about Iraq," says CPT worker Marius van Hoogstraten.
The report, entitled "Iraq after the Occupation––Iraqis Speak About the State of Their Country as the U.S. Military Withdraws," is based on extensive interviews with Iraqi citizens in various parts of the country. It recommends that the United States “think creatively” about ways to support Iraqi society before the U.S. military withdraws entirely at the end of 2011.
The United States, which invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, recently announced an "end of combat missions," in preparation for a complete withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011. The report notes that no consensus exists among Iraqis on the future of their country, with some interviewees expecting the security situation to get much worse, while others are more optimistic. However, none expects Iraq to be independent after a complete U.S. withdrawal.
"I do not think the American army came all this way, spent all this money to leave [Iraq] a prey to others," one Baghdad resident said in an interview.
Although the report confirms an improved security situation over the last few years, it questions the contribution of the "surge." About half of those interviewed pointed instead to the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi cities in 2009 as the major contributor to the improved security situation.
In its conclusion, CPT Iraq stipulates that in the waning days of U.S. military presence in Iraq, the United States should focus on the Iraqi economy, reconciliation efforts and a culture of accountability in the Iraqi security forces.
CPT stresses that the United States must also respect Iraqi democratic sovereignty.
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