us may already have lost war in iraq

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    Brussels, Dec 24, IRNA -- An international think-tank in a report published here on Thursday announced that the US campaign in Iraq has failed to achieve Washington`s desired goals, warning that anti-US
    sentiments have deteriorated in Iraq.

    "In Iraq, the US is engaged in a war it may already have lost,"

    stressed the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) in its latest report on Iraq.
    "Iraqi hostility toward the American-led occupation, more widespread and deeper rooted than the US has acknowledged, means the Bush administration`s policy there can no longer achieve its original aims."

    The ICG stressed that the initial US objective was to turn Iraq into a model for the region.
    It said the US initially planned to make Iraq a democratic, secular and free-market oriented government, sympathetic to US interests, not openly hostile toward Israel, and possibly home to long-term American military bases.
    "But hostility toward the US and suspicion of its intentions among large numbers of Iraqis have progressed so far that this is virtually out of reach," the ICG warned.
    The report further added that soaring resentment feeds the insurgency to make the transition process a source of the legitimacy deficit.
    The ICG further called on the US to recognize the new realities under which it operates and accept the dual disengagement course.
    The group said the US should gradually disengage from Iraq in political and military domains.

    "Washington has to realize: you occupy the Iraq you have, not the Iraq you might wish to have later", states Robert Malley, Director of Crisis Group`s Middle East and North Africa Program.
    "The credibility of Iraqi institutions depends essentially on their ability to respond to the Iraqi population`s needs and aspirations, which inevitably will entail distancing themselves from the US-led occupation",

    Peter Harling, ICG`s Middle East Analyst.

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