Winning The Peace In Iraq
More than a year ago, President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under a banner that proclaimed "mission accomplished." But today we know that the mission is not accomplished, hostilities have not ended and our men and women in uniform stand almost alone with the target squarely on their backs.
Our military performed brilliantly in the war's first mission: ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. Today, Americans share a desire for Iraqis to live with the blessings of democracy and security. John Kerry and John Edwards have a practical plan to win the peace in Iraq and bring our troops home.
We must change course in Iraq. Having gone to war, we cannot afford to fail at peace. The United States must take immediate measures to prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.
John Kerry and John Edwards will forge a new policy to promote stability, democracy, protection of minority and women's rights in Iraq, and peace in the region. John Kerry and John Edwards will work to gain new military and financial commitments from other nations so America isn't carrying the burden and risk virtually alone.
John Kerry and John Edwards will make the creation of a stable and secure environment in Iraq our immediate priority in order to lay the foundations for sustainable democracy. They will:
Persuade NATO to Make the Security of Iraq one of its Global Missions and to deploy a significant portion of the force needed to secure and win the peace in Iraq. NATO participation will in turn open the door to greater international involvement from non-NATO countries.
Internationalize the Non-Iraqi Reconstruction Personnel in Iraq, to share the costs and burdens, end the continuing perception of a U.S. occupation, and help coordinate reconstruction efforts, draft the constitution and organize elections.
Launch a Massive and Accelerated Training Effort to Build Iraqi Security Forces that can provide real security for the Iraqi people, including a major role for NATO. This is not a task for America alone; we must join as a partner with other nations.
Plan for Iraq’s Future by working with our allies to forgive Iraq’s multi-billion dollar debts and by supporting the development of a new Iraqi constitution and the political arrangements needed to protect minority rights. We will also convene a regional conference with Iraq's neighbors in order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraq's borders and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.