Morning Brief, Thursday, November 16

Iraq Gen. Abizaid hit the Senate committee circuit yesterday and did two things: 1) Deflated the Dems’ call for a phased troop withdrawal by asserting fewer troops=more violence and 2) Confirmed publicly for the first time what Gen. Shinseki said years ago: That the biggest mistake in Iraq was not deploying more troops.   The ...

606121_Abizaid5.jpg
606121_Abizaid5.jpg
WASHINGTON - MARCH 1: U.S. General John Abizaid testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, March 1, 2005 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on Defense Department authorization requests. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Iraq

Gen. Abizaid hit the Senate committee circuit yesterday and did two things: 1) Deflated the Dems' call for a phased troop withdrawal by asserting fewer troops=more violence and 2) Confirmed publicly for the first time what Gen. Shinseki said years ago: That the biggest mistake in Iraq was not deploying more troops.  

The debate in the Senate committee hearing was spirited, but the political subtext was all 2008. The "stay or leave" debate is raging in Baghdad, too. If there's one thing that terrifies Iraq's neighbors during this whole discussion, it's the idea that dividing Iraq into three parts will suddently seem like a good plan.

Iraq

Gen. Abizaid hit the Senate committee circuit yesterday and did two things: 1) Deflated the Dems’ call for a phased troop withdrawal by asserting fewer troops=more violence and 2) Confirmed publicly for the first time what Gen. Shinseki said years ago: That the biggest mistake in Iraq was not deploying more troops.  

The debate in the Senate committee hearing was spirited, but the political subtext was all 2008. The “stay or leave” debate is raging in Baghdad, too. If there’s one thing that terrifies Iraq’s neighbors during this whole discussion, it’s the idea that dividing Iraq into three parts will suddently seem like a good plan.

Bush’s trip to Asia

President Bush opens his tour to Asia with a plea for more help taking a hardline against North Korea. His audience is sensitive to the fact that trade deals may soon become few and far between with a new party in power in Congress. Vietnam keeps the pesky dissidents at bay while all the heavies are in town for APEC.

Elsewhere

The new U.N. Human Rights Council is worse than the old one

Annan has a new plan for a Darfur peacekeeping force. 

Spain, Italy, and France launch a new peace initiative for the Middle East. 

Turkey freezes military ties with France over a proposed French bill that outlaws denying the Armenian genocide. 

And calls for calm in Congo as incumbent Joseph Kabila is declared the winner of the run-off presidential poll. 

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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