American power: After Iraq The Economist: "When President Obama confirms next week that all American combat forces have left Iraq, you can be sure of one thing. He will not repeat the triumphalism of George Bush’s suggestion seven years ago that America’s mission there has been accomplished. Mr Obama always considered this a “dumb” war, and events have proved him largely right. America and its allies may have rid the Middle East of a bloodstained dictator, but Saddam Hussein’s vaunted weapons of mass destruction turned out to be a chimera and the cost in American and especially Iraqi lives has been hideous."
So Obama thinks the Iraq war has been a "dumb war", then Paul D. Wolfowitz provides an interesting argument that question this hypothesis. As Obama said in his Nobel Peace prize speech some wars are justified and if one compares the Iraq war with the Korean War it might be too early to tell whether the Iraq war was worth the sacrifice or not. I find it very troublesome that a lot of people can be for a war at one point and then change their minds as over a million troops now have fought honorably in Iraq.
One argument that is brought forward as a negative outcome of the Iraq war is that Iran has become more powerful in the region. George Friedman at Stratfor elaborates on the Iran situation and reading this I wonder if Iran might not have been further ahead in their supposed nuclear weapon quest if Saddam Hussein still had been around?
In Korea the US was fighting communism with a larger blood shed than in the Iraq war and the difference today between the democratic South Korea and its crippled Northern neighbor is dramatic. Will we be able to make a similar comparison in a number of years between Iraq and Iran? In other words, will Iraq connect with the world as Iran cuts itself off? One problem with this question might be that Iran does not consider itself cut off. It is equally dramatic to ponder the different possible outcomes of a removal of all troops before the end of 2011 as the present deal says and an Iraq initiated support scheme that might steer the development in a more favorable direction.
In Iraq there was a fight against terrorism in conjunction with petroleum security. A fight that is still on according to Friedman above. I don't see the dumbness of trying to prevent disasters like those possible to develop from aggressions in this area. However, in my humble opinion, considering the difficulties of judging these matters, staying out of Iran, if they don't become more aggressive than they are, they do often resemble North Korea in their approach, is probably wise.
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