Bush strategies in Iraq to date

Different blueprints for halting the violence have failed to deliver.

    President Bush has presided over repeated plans and troop deployments in Iraq, which pre-date his expected rollout of a new strategy on January 10, 2007.

    Different blueprints for halting the fighting and cementing Iraq's democracy have progressively passed sovereignty from the US occupation to an Iraqi government and included three elections.

    But they failed to slow the pace of the fighting which has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis and more than 3,000 US troops.

    Here is a rundown of various approaches in Iraq adopted so far by the Bush administration:

    US soldiers in Baghdad's Sadr City [AFP]

    April 2003
    Retired Lieutenant-General Jay Garner arrives in newly occupied Baghdad with a mandate to rebuild Iraq, but the project founders as there is widespread looting and ministries are burned, while police and security forces remain fractured.

    May 2003
    Bush replaces Garner, bringing in Paul Bremer as chief civilian administrator in Iraq, telling him, as Bremer later recounts in his autobiography, that he has an "impossible" job.

    May 2004
    Bush lays out a five-step transition plan which will see a national assembly chosen to draft a new constitution leading to a permanent Iraqi government. The president pledges to help establish security and rebuild civilian infrastructure.

    November 2005
    Bush introduces another plan in the face of ongoing fighting called the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. It hails progress in training Iraqi troops, but warns that victory will take time and patience.

    June 2006
    After the Iraqi government is finally installed, Bush flies to Iraq for a briefing on the Baghdad government's new plan for improving security, national reconciliation and economic reform. A new plan called Operation Together Forward is designed to increase Iraqi security forces in Baghdad.

    July 2006
    Bush and Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, preview yet another new security plan, which calls for embedding more US military police in Iraqi units and a redeployment of US troops from elsewhere in Iraq into Baghdad after the previous plan failed after only six weeks. The US military admits the operation failed in October.

    January 2007
    As US combat deaths hit 3,000, Bush prepares a new, possibly last-ditch plan for Iraq, that would see 20,000 soldiers going into Iraq, economic jolts for the war-ravaged country worth more than $1bn, and benchmarks designed to force the Iraqi government to crack down on militias.


    SOURCE: Agencies


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