Luttwak: if we stop fighting in Iraq…nothing will happen by mattsteinglass
February 7, 2007, 11:07 am
Filed under: Iraq, United States, Vietnam

Edward Luttwak (has a security expert ever had a better name, with its simultaneous Teutonic clang and echoes of the French “lutte”? No. Never.) says we should stop trying to keep Iraqis from killing each other, end our doomed COIN program and failed intensive collaboration with Iraqi troops, pull most of our troops out of Iraq, pull the rest back to their bases and let the civil war burn itself out. He says our troops are too few and too linguistically incompetent, intelligence-poor and politically extraneous to accomplish anything in the way of preventing the sectarian slasher porn that is Iraq today, so they might as well stop trying.

Seems plausible. The Vietnam War certainly ended a lot faster, and arrived at a stable government, after the US pulled out.

The question at issue is the part about leaving some of our troops in Iraq, to ensure territorial integrity and prop up the government so we don’t get a Jihadi state. This looks like the worst kind of malign colonialism: we’d be standing by and watching ethnic cleansing (with perhaps the occasional spot of genocide), and just protecting our geopolitical interests. Hard to sell that one in the court of world opinion. It might be better to find a somewhat trusted interlocuter to play the role of propping up the government and ensuring territorial integrity. Turkey comes to mind. Or someone.
Nobody’s going to send us any roses for that maneuver, either. But it beats maintaining a colonial garrison in our client state, sipping Coors and watching as the natives hack each other to death.


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