Mideast Peace Won't Be Quick; U.S. Faces a Long Effort
Byline: Rachel Kaufman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The United States needs to be prepared for "a generation-long effort" to help its friends in the Middle East to transform the region, says the Bush administration's ambassador to the United Nations.
"We, and the rest of the world, cannot be indifferent about the future of the Middle East," Zalmay Khalilzad said in a speech at Georgetown University on Wednesday.
The United States must increase its efforts in the region and mobilize partnerships with other countries, said the veteran diplomat, who has served as ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq. He said a strong response to "Iran's aggressive pursuit of regional hegemony" is imperative.
"This cannot be done quickly, easily or cheaply. It cannot be done solely or principally by military means. It will require work on many fronts and a comprehensive strategy," Mr. Khalilzad said, adding that the needed actions are "daunting, but doable."
Mr. Khalilzad called for the formation of specialized military forces and changes at the State Department, including an increase in its personnel.
"Change is already under way in the State Department, but a full transformation will take time," he said.
He suggested that the U.S. base its strategy on what he called the "Afghanistan model," which includes international action, intelligence efforts and focused police and strike operations against al Qaeda. …