The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

              Results, Not Timetables
In their interrogation of Codolezza Rice, one of the main questions asked by the Democrat Senators was about an exit strategy for Iraq. Henry Kissinger and George Schultz reject this line of thinking as short-sighted and wrong.
The implications of the term "exit strategy" must be clearly understood; there can be no fudging of consequences. The essential prerequisite for an acceptable exit strategy is a sustainable outcome, not an arbitrary time limit. For the outcome in Iraq will shape the next decade of American foreign policy. A debacle would usher in a series of convulsions in the region as radicals and fundamentalists moved for dominance, with the wind seemingly at their backs. Wherever there are significant Muslim populations, radical elements would be emboldened. As the rest of the world related to this reality, its sense of direction would be impaired by the demonstration of American confusion in Iraq. A precipitate American withdrawal would be almost certain to cause a civil war that would dwarf Yugoslavia's, and it would be compounded as neighbors escalated their current involvement into full-scale intervention.
The Democrats want to bring troops "home" now. And while this is certainly a desirable short-term goal, in the long-term it could be disastrous. If one looks back at US occupations of other countries, the ones that have succeeded have been the ones where the US stayed longer than five years. I wonder why the Democrats aren't asking about an exit strategy from Germany; after all, our troops have been there for 60 years. The main question for the Democrats on Iraq is do we want to withdraw or do we want to succeed?
|| Nudnik 4:24 PM
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