Sunday :: Mar 11, 2007

Iraq: Possible Outcomes


by soccerdad

Rolling Stone has the thoughts of Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Clarke, Nir Rosen, Gen. Tony McPeak (retired), Bob Graham, Chas Freeman, Paul Pillar, Michael Scheuer, and Juan Cole on Iraq. They were asked to describe what they thought the best, most likely, and the worst scenarios for the outcome of Iraq would look like.

I'm not going to try and summarize the entire piece. I'll provide some highlights and encourage everyone to go read the entire article.

Best Scenario CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ AND A STRONGER AL QAEDA

Zbigniew Brzezinski: If we are willing to engage with all of Iraq's neighbors -- including Iran -- in a regional effort to contain the violence, the best we can hope for is an Iraq that is politically passive but hostile toward America.
Nir Rosen: There is no best-case scenario for Iraq. It's complete anarchy now. No family is untouched by kidnappings, murders, ethnic cleansing -- everybody lives in a constant state of terror. .......There's no government in Iraq; it doesn't exist outside of the Green Zone. That's not only the government's fault, that's our fault: We deliberately created a weak government so that we would have final authority over everything in Iraq.


Most Likely Outcome:
YEARS OF ETHNIC CLEANSING AND WAR WITH IRAN
Scheuer: There isn't any upper limit to how many people could get killed. Depending on how long the war lasts -- a million casualties?

So what kind of government is Iraq most likely to be left with when all is said and done?

McPeak: A Shia dictatorship headed by some lieutenant colonel who we don't even know yet. It's a restoration of Saddam Hussein, except now he's Shia, and maybe he's in religious robes rather than a uniform

WORST-CASE SCENARIO WORLD WAR III

Freeman: This could become the Islamic equivalent of the Thirty Years War between Protestants and Catholics in Europe in the 1600s -- a religious schism that blossoms into overt mayhem and murder and massacres and warfare.

This sums it up the domestic political lesson we should learn

McPeak: This is a dark chapter in our history. Whatever else happens, our country's international standing has been frittered away by people who don't have the foggiest understanding of how the hell the world works. America has been conducting an experiment for the past six years, trying to validate the proposition that it really doesn't make any difference who you elect president. Now we know the result of that experiment [laughs]. If a guy is stupid, it makes a big difference.

soccerdad :: 6:26 AM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!