Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The War with Iran (in Iraq)

Those who opposed the US invasion of Iraq have long clamored for a troop pull out. They have now been joined by at least a majority of Americans who call for some kind of pull “back” if not pull out. I think both views are mistaken.

There is no doubt that the US is experiencing a very difficult situation in Iraq. However, that situation has been created by the inability of Iraq’s three major religious groups to come to a bargain: the Sunni, the Shi’a, and the Kurds. Any final deal with take the agreement of all three, but for now no such unanimity appears possible as they are locked in a stalemate. Strangely enough, the stalemate emasculates the three parties to the conflict and leaves them at the mercy of outside forces.

There are two major contenders for control over the future of Iraq: the United States and Iran. This is why it would be a mistake for the US to pull “back” or “out.” To do so would be to leave Iran to decide the outcome.

As I have long argued, the Global War on Terror is a grand strategy that leads from Iraq through Iran and Syria to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Unless and until all of these regimes are reconstructed, there will no peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Dictatorships in all of these countries will continue to fuel the conflict in order to control the seething “Arab Street.” The war in Iraq has pitted us against Iran. Now is not the time to pull back.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I'm afraid the problem in Iraq is not the fraction between the three groups in the country. Actually, it is precisely the false Neo-Conservative belief of a unified Iraq which is at fault, as the vision fails to see reality. The Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds all do have one thing in common. They do not want a unified Iraq.

To respond to the point made on Iran. To say Iran is going to take over Iraq appears misguided. The other Middle Eastern nations surly have a stake in a stable Iraq and are probable to not allow Iran to gain sole control. Saudi Arabia certainly can muster some political muscle to calm an overheated Iran.

To fix Iraq we need to realize our vision of Iraq is wrong by realizing there are in fact three distinct groups located within the country's boarders. These three groups need to compromise with our and its neighbors' help.

Let’s look at government finance for a moment. The Iraq war is forecasted in aggregate to cost $1.5 to $2 trillion dollars. Should not this government program be funded by increased taxation? Most economists disagree of debt financing in war programs so why aren't we funding the war through taxation? Even if I disagree with the program, we all should pay the cost of this program; otherwise, too few are bearing the burdens of this program. The proponents for the war effort should step up to the table in times of adversity to pay their fair and due share.

To show why the pull back strategy is gaining merit I would like to reference a War study done by James Galbraith. James Galbraith at the University of Texas concluded in his study the more egalitarian nation will win in wars as this nation will have its people behind the war effort longer than the opposed side. America hasn’t lost its stomach over the Iraq war. Rather, the U.S. has discovered it has been misguided throughout the war effort. Consequently, Americans want the war to end. Therefore, unless American sentiment changes, expect American forces to pull back from Bagdad within the foreseeable future.