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The US Administration’s current policy in Iraq is summed up by this word, which encapsulates the idea that power and control should be transferred to local politicians and armed forces as quickly as possible. It’s on record earlier in the year, before the invasion of Iraq, but only began to appear frequently in the American and international press quite recently. Its use was stimulated further by the news a week ago of a shift in US policy towards reducing the period of occupation, involving the speeding up of the creation of a new constitution and the holding of elections by June 2004. The training schedules of recruits from the Iraqi police and the Iraqi army are also to be accelerated. One aim is to bring home as many US and British troops as can be spared as quickly as possible. For some commentators the term is unfortunate, as it evokes memories of an unsuccessful earlier attempt at a similar policy — the Vietnamisation policy of President Nixon of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

And while Rumsfeld is routinely restaffing community draft boards, no one is seriously considering that idea — yet. But the Pentagon chief conceded that McCain was right to warn him against signaling U.S. retreat through “Iraqification.”

Newsweek, 17 Nov. 2003

While Iraqification will not solve our immediate security problems, we must move more quickly to transfer meaningful political authority to Iraqi leaders.

Washington Post, 9 Nov. 20003

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 29 Nov. 2003

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-ira1.htm
Last modified: 29 November 2003.