Iraq Endgame

However stable or illusory it turns out to be, the improved security situation in Iraq has made calling for the withdrawal of American troops into an act of courage these days. I’m increasingly of the opinion that if ever there was a moment to wait and see how things develop, now would be it. But Monica Duffy Toft, in a CSM op ed, reminds us that there are longterm strategic costs for shortsighted optimism. Essentially, as this line of reasoning goes, all of the blood and treasure we’re investing in stabilizing Iraq is going to pay huge dividends down the road. . . For Iran. It’s a compelling argument, unless you factor in the kind of longterm Strategic Framework Agreement that’s being difficulty negotiated as we speak. That’s where the endgame in Iraq is. Without that, all we’re doing is setting Iran’s table, and Toft’s argument is less willfully blind than prescient.

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