Joseph George Caldwell, PhD

Lusaka, Zambia

8 May 2004 (expanded 11 May)




President George W. Bush

The White House

Washington, DC


Dear President Bush:


I am writing to you to offer you a solution to the present quagmire in Iraq.


First, I will introduce myself.  I am Joseph George Caldwell.  I have spent much of my career working in military systems analysis.  At one time, I served as director of research and development at the US Army Electronic Proving Ground’s Electromagnetic Environmental Test Facility at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  At the present time, I am working as a management consultant in Zambia.


I have conducted much research in the area of strategic planning and analysis, and maintain a popular Internet website on strategy, politics, and warfare: .  I will be very brief in my comments to you today.  If you will read the article, It’s the Oil, Stupid! at Internet website , you will see my proposed solution to the problem in Iraq.  If you adopt the solution proposed there, you will be able to resolve this problem quickly and honorably.  You will be able to dramatically reduce the troop levels in Iraq in a matter of weeks, and restore order, sovereignty and honor to the Iraqi peoples.  Moreover, in short order Iraq’s oil fields will be flowing once again, providing Iraq, America, and its allies with access to Iraq’s abundant energy resources.  In short order, you will win the war in Iraq and achieve honorable objectives for Iraq, America, and its allies.  The slaughter of American soldiers and civilians in Iraq will end.


My proposal is this: Divide (balkanize) the country into three parts – three countries: one for the Kurds (“Kurdistan”), one for the Sunnis (“Sunnistan”) and one for the Shiites / Shias (“Shiastan”).  Relocate people as required to create a homogeneous population within each country (as was done, e.g., in Cyprus and in India/Pakistan several decades ago and in a number of countries in North and South America a few hundred years ago).  In each country, place a powerful and respected family in charge.  Each family will be responsible for running its country in an orderly fashion.  Each family will be beholden to the US for its position.  The requirement for continued US support will be the development of its oil resources, and trade oil with the outside world.  If it does not comply with this requirement, it will be replaced.


As currently constituted, and under current circumstances, Iraq is not governable.  There is not, as is so often referred to in the press, an “Iraqi people.”  There are basically three Iraqi peoples – the Kurds, the Sunnis, and the Shias.  My proposal recognizes this fact.  A strong nation is comprised of a population that is highly homogeneous with respect to basic human attributes, such as language, religion, race, geography and culture.  Profound differences in ethnicity and religion are currently tearing Iraq apart.  As three separate nations, stability, order and peace will return.  I know that diversity is important to you, and trying to minimize diversity by forcing a single nation instead of three diverse ones is very much counter to the goal of promoting diversity.


I know that you have expressed a desire to install democracy in Iraq.  Unfortunately, Iraq is not ready for democracy.  Iraq’s religion, politics, and culture are hundreds of years behind the West.  Cultures cannot be changed very fast – recall the fate of Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran, who tried to “westernize” that country too fast.  Democracy is not very important to current Iraqi peoples.  What is very important to them at the present time is self-determination.  And there are three major subpopulations, each of which wishes to be independent of the others.  It took the West a thousand years to evolve its current democratic institutions from those of the Middle Ages.  Expecting Iraq to move from its Middle-Age culture overnight is unrealistic.


The solution that I am proposing is not original with me.  It was proposed hundreds of years ago by Machiavelli – and thousands of years ago by Sun Tzu.  It is based on sound and tested principles of politics and warfare.  The current approach of trying to impose an alien culture (democracy) overnight in Iraq, and govern radically different and inimical populations by means of democracy, is doomed to failure.


With specific reference to the recent events concerning prisoner abuse in Iraq, I have this to say: Continue to support Mr. Rumsfeld.  He is very capable, and he serves you well.  The recent incidents have nothing to do with his tenure in office.  They stem from several decades of lack of discipline in our armed forces, and a lack of purpose and direction – and permissiveness – in contemporary American culture.  You may certainly hold the generals who testified yesterday along with Mr. Rumsfeld responsible, since they have spent their lifetimes and careers in the system that spawned the abuse.  But Mr. Rumsfeld is not in any way responsible for these recent events, and he can, with your continued support, continue to be very effective in helping to accomplish your goals.  There have been calls for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation.  If Mr. Rumsfeld should resign, then you should resign.  Mr. Rumsfeld should not resign.


Your instincts have served you very well in the turbulent times of the past several years since the attack of September 11, 2001.  Your leadership has been strong and well directed.  But recent events, if not addressed properly, threaten to undermine your position, and lose both the war in Iraq and your presidency.  Please take time to read and consider my proposal.






Joseph George Caldwell

Lusaka, Zambia