Earlier today, I took issue with Charles Krauthammer’s view that the U.S. should not take a lead role in the fighting if, after the January elections, all-out civil war breaks out in Iraq. The basis for my view is essentially that expressed here, after Krauthammer first made this argument in April.
There are outcomes in Iraq short of the single, peaceful democratic state we’ve been attempting to create that we might be well-advised to settle for in a worst case scenario. But these outcomes do not include a Sunni triangle dominated by Baathists and/or terrorists, along the lines of the Fallujah of a few weeks ago. Such a Sunni triangle would represent essentially a hybrid of Saddam’s Iraq (WMD capability) and the Taliban’s Afghanistan (a base for al Qaeda style terrorists). We have not lost 1.000 plus American lives to settle for that.
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