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Old 12-30-2006   #21
Tom Odom
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Default Golan

I agree with your thoughts sir. I am interested to hear what you think of the ISG recommendation to push the Israelis to return the Golan Heights to Syria.
The Golan is a major redline with the Israelis--one more serious than the West Bank. The Israelis were willing---at least by my read of the Liberty Incident in 1967--to risk a major break with the US by taking the Golan after a UN ceasefire was in place (and again reading the Liberty Incident) and attacking a US intelligence ship to cover the move. They have in the past indicated a willingness to negotiate Golan in return for US forces deploying along the area--where UNTSO is now; another version of Camp David that would place US soldiers on the line as a trip wire. Remember also that the real risk in the 73 War was not in Sinai; the Syrians nearly broke the IDF on the Golan--see Heights of Courage for the story on that one.

As for Syria, getting the Golan back has been an objective since 67. I suspect the US aim would be to get Syria to back off on Lebanon and reduce increased ties with Iran as well of course furthering reducing support to groups in Iraq.

In addition, while the report makes repeated references to the issue of Kirkuk, why do you think that it would not specifically "spell-out" what the issue(s) is/are? Is there a fear of letting the US public know that the Kurds, who are portrayed as some of the "good-guys," will potentially break the country apart over this issue?
I believe you hit it on the head. Kurdish aspirations are at logger heads with much of what we have laid out for Iraq and have been the stumbling block between the Turks and our plans.


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Old 01-09-2007   #22
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