Argument: The US can back anti-terrorism allies in and around Iraq after leaving

Issue Report: Withdrawing from Iraq

Supporting quotes

  • Leslie Gelb. “Would Defeat in Iraq Be So Bad?”. Time. Oct. 15, 2006 – “Could the consequences of defeat in Iraq not be as bad as we imagine? In the first place, the Arab jihadi terrorists will be more difficult to handle than the North Vietnamese. Hanoi’s leaders ran a disciplined country with ambitions limited to Indochina. The jihadi terrorists in Iraq can’t be bargained with, and their hatred runs global. Victory in Iraq would embolden them.
But we are not without ways to check their victory, even as we might exit Iraq. We have allies at the ready (the Kurds, the Saudis, the Turks, the Jordanians, etc.) who fear the jihadis as much as we do and potential allies (the Baathists and the Sunni tribal leaders) who want to rule their own piece of Iraq and also fear and despise the jihadis. As we gradually withdraw, we and others could provide Baathists the wherewithal to crush the terrorists. Without a large U.S. military presence, they probably would do a better job of it.”