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The Smart Surge: Diplomacy

The underlying problems in Iraq are political, not military, writes Gen. Wesley Clark in The Washington Post. Clark is a senior fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center.

In the Jan. 8, 2007, edition of The Washington Post, Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) argues that the likely effect of an increase or "surge" in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq is to "distract us from facing the deep-seated regional issues that must be resolved." The Bush administration is widely expected to call for the deployment of as many as 20,000 additional soldiers around Baghdad.

In the op-ed, Clark continues:

The administration needs a new strategy for the region, before Iran gains nuclear capabilities. While the military option must remain on the table, America should take the lead with direct diplomacy to resolve the interrelated problems of Iran's push for regional hegemony and nuclear power, the struggle for control of Lebanon, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Isolating our adversaries hasn't worked.

Clark, former Supreme Commander of NATO, is a senior fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations.

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