Friday, March 9, 2007

Showdown on Iraq

It looks like we're headed for an ugly stand-off between Congress and the President on Iraq. Some form of a Democratic bill mandating withdrawal will pass the House but will probably not have enough votes for cloture in the Senate, and certainly not have the votes to override a veto. In the meantime, war funding will be held hostage and a political game of chicken will commence. My preference would have been that Congress and the President sit down after the election and come up with a bipartisan approach to the war. But Bush was too eager to rule like a monarch. Regretably, the time for that is gone.

My current position is close to Edward Luttwak's (TimesSelect). I would favor disengagement in Iraq, leaving some troops there in bases located away from urban centers. Their mission would be to discourage the direct intervention of neighboring countries. If terrorist targets of opportunity presented themselves, they could be attacked. I think these are the only things we can be reasonably sure we can accomplish in Iraq. To try to do things we are fairly sure we can't accomplish -- like squelch a civil war -- risks making things worse in the long run.

If we disengage, Iraq will still be a mess. It might even get worse. But if we continue to pursue our current goals, we have little reason to believe that our slim chance of success will outweigh the known and unknown costs and risks we are incurring.

1 comment:

acwo said...

Nice blog, I like it :)
Keep it up.