The Realist Prism: Victory vs. Democracy in Iraq

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Five years ago, in an essay in National Interest, Paul Saunders and I attempted to address the question of what victory in Iraq would look like. We concluded that success would include depriving al-Qaida of a base, closing Iraq’s borders to foreign fighters, and the emergence of a central government capable of ensuring some degree of stability, without repressive methods or too close an alignment with Iran. “Americans and others will recognize victory,” we wrote, “if we have managed to break the back of al-Qaida in Iraq and left in place an Iraqi government committed and able to prevent the […]

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