Dependable Erection

Thursday, May 17, 2007

British think tank: Iraq on verge of total collapse

So says the BBC about the new report out today from Chatham House, a foreign policy research institute founded in London back in 1920.

Iraq faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation, UK foreign policy think tank Chatham House says.

Its report says the Iraqi government is now largely powerless and irrelevant in many parts of the country.

It warns there is not one war but many local civil wars, and urges a major change in US and British strategy, such as consulting Iraq's neighbours more.

The analysis is getting a fair amount of coverage in Britain and the Middle East; in the US, not so much.

I've been thinking more about Iraq lately. Isn't everybody? One of the things i've been thinking is poor our analogies for the Iraq War are. Some of my right wing co-workers will often point out, for example, how much lower US casualties are than during the Vietnam War. Implicit in this is the idea that, somehow, if we only supported our fighting forces more, instead of stabbing them in the back, the war would be winnable.

But Vietnam is an imperfect analogy. I'm not sure which, of the many wars this country has fought previously, Iraq is most like. In my lifetime, the conflict that seems to be most like this one was one that the US was only peripherally involved in. And that's the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

I'll have a post up later today, or tomorrow, explaining my thinking on this. In the meanwhile, it's worth contemplating all of the consequences of that particular misadventure.



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