Led by Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate, the Democrats have warned President Bush about increasing troop levels in Iraq.

“No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq,” states a letter to George Bush by Pelosi and Reid.

While the US President has of late veered away from the idea of an exit from Iraq, it now seems that the Democrats may push the President back to that strategy. They see a surge of troops as a strategy that has already been tried and has failed.

With other countries slowly pulling their troops from Iraq (Slovakia does so in February), and an imminent change of leadership in Britain, it’s clear that the US may end up alone to handle the difficult situation created in Iraq.

Unless the US has other plans in the region — like threatening Iran — then the Democrats may have a point. Since the war began, the strategy of Britain and the US has basically been one of increasing troops. But Iraq will not be solved with the massive presence of military; Iraq needs significant aid, as well as close cooperation with its neighbors. And whether the US likes it or not, Syria and Iran are part of the neighborhood and are important players in the region.

If President Talabani can get along with Iran, then the US should not be exclusively favoring PM Maliki as has been the case in recent weeks. It was Talabani who visited Tehran in late November to discuss how Iran could help. With Iraq’s restored diplomatic relations with Syria, the Iraqi President already has an invitation to visit Damascus.

Dmitri Marine blogs on Blogue North