Where's the exit?
June 21, 2006 10:13 AM Subscribe
The debate over exit strategies for Iraq. Stephen Biddle. The biggest problem with treating Iraq like Vietnam is Iraqization -- the main component of the current U.S. military strategy. In a people's war, handing the fighting off to local forces makes sense because it undermines the nationalist component of insurgent resistance, improves the quality of local intelligence, and boosts troop strength. But in a communal civil war, it throws gasoline on the fire. Iraq's Sunnis perceive the "national" army and police force as a Shiite-Kurdish militia on steroids. Biddle also emphasizes the need for a compromise based on a constitutional deal with ironclad power-sharing arrangements protecting all parties. Roundtable responses from Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, Chaim Kaufmann, and Leslie Gelb. Anthony Cordesman, who anticipated the current situation (PDF), emphasizes the need for ongoing US involvement in the region. Daniel Benjamin is pessimistic, describing the US as being in a no-win situation whether it stays or leaves. A list of proposed exit strategies collected by the Project for Defense Alternatives. The Onion.
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