Clear, Hold, and Build is Missing the Build:

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) thinks President Bush’s “Clear, Hold and Build” strategy is missing the “build” component, not a fault of the US military but rather of other US civil agencies. However he does think the US military needs to make sweeping changes in Iraq to win the war. Reed, who is a senior member on the Senate Armed Services Committee and has recently visited Southwest Asia, spoke at a Brookings Institute forum last week, saying, “Where we have persistently failed is in the building … because … we have never truly matched our military effort with a comparable civilian effort in terms of State Department personnel, AID personnel, and Justice Department personnel.” Reed believes that US military forces must rein in the militias in Iraq, must reconcile information and strategies with the Iraqi government, and must ask the Iraqis to spend their own funds on reconstruction. Reed said he found “increasing violence” in Iraq during his visit, owing to a lack of economic progress. The Senator asserted, “We are not winning, but I don’t think we have lost.”