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Friday, December 08, 2006

Tom Friedman makes the case

. . . for setting a date for withdrawal.  His interview on the Don Imus show is here.  Friedman argues that we need to set a date to get leverage over the parties involved: Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Iraq government, and the militias.  He points out, convincingly I think, that the militias have been paying "wholesale" for their violence, since the U.S. is the target; once we leave, they will pay "retail."  All the parties will be forced to deal with a new set of potential bad outcomes, and they will have strong incentives to change their behavior.

Like Noah Feldman, I had believed that the United States owed it to Iraq to stay there as long as it took to restore some semblance of security and democracy -- Colin Powell's (mis)statement of the Pottery Barn policy.  But Friedman has changed my mind, at least as to what we do now.  I'd be interested to hear what others think about the Iraq Study Group's recommendations and our next move.

Posted by Matt Bodie on December 8, 2006 at 11:06 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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