Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Why Not to Pull Out of Iraq

Styguis, as always, has a fascinating and well thought out post regarding the culminating crisises centering around Iran and North Korea, as well as the ever worsening situation in Iraq. He discusses possible consequences about a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, and that while Iran can't launch a conventional military assault against us (presumably, our forces stationed in Iraq and Kuwait) they could
plunge Iraq and Afghanistan into chaos through proxy fighers, exercise its pre-arranged option against Israel, and create an international terror campaign against the US. Moderates and reformers within Iran would be isolated into irrelevance, and essentially the US would have to come up with other punitive operations to deal with an increase in terrorism (not to mention another rise in global oil prices), a globally radicalized Shi'a, and eventually an invasion. That's the worst case scenario as I see it. Maybe Iran is betting that the US will ultimately see it that way too, and would therefore learn to live with a nuclear Iran.

However, a nuclear-armed Iran will be able to do all of those things as well, while feeling relatively immune to US pressure, since it would be nuclear-armed.
I agree with all of this (adding also that with several top memebers of the senior al Qaeda leadership in Iranian "custody" that the mullahs might decide to openly collaborate with them in planning attacks against Western and Middle Eastern targets of oppurtunity) and it is quite frigthening to contemplate. This ties quite a bit in the topic of pulling out of Iraq. Later, Styguis adds
But we are in a standoff, as well as in a situation where the US' resources are stretched so thin and so broadly that a rubber band effect is almost a given. There will be some kind of drawback; somewhere, somehow. Some are already talking about the pros and cons of an Iraq pullout, for instance.
Indeed. Just to clarify, I do not support a "pull out" (although, I'm of the opinion that we will maintain several thousand troops in Iraq for a few decades) of Iraq until we have completed our objectives, create a stable government that will not collaspe under a few bombings. Dan Darling says a US withdrawl would basically turn Iraq into Afghanistan after the Soviet's withdrew in 1989. I think it would be even worse than that because the infrastructure and wealth of Iraq far exceeds anything Afghanistan could hope to have. Failure (which I deem as a withdrawal) was never an option going into this thing. I knew, and I hope everyone else understood it. We can't pull out because the body count is getting too high, because a withdrawal will mean an even higher body count in this country down the road.