The Future of Iraq if We ‘Stay the Course’

“The harsh reality is that if left to run its own course, a civil war in Iraq would result in a hard-line, radical Islamic mini-state in southern Iraq, with extremely close ties with Iran; a Kurdish state in the North engaged in its own internal civil war between rival factions; and Baghdad reduced to a modern-day Beirut, divided into fortified Shi’a and Sunni communities at war with one another. It would all be “governed” by a weak central authority lacking the means to effect any meaningful change.

“Worst of all, from the American perspective, is that the Sunni population of Iraq, disenfranchised and impoverished, would be compelled to embrace radical Islam, providing a perfect recruiting and training ground for the forces of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

“This is the future of Iraq should the Bush administration continue to “stay the course,” as the President recently promised to do. There is no elegant solution to offer up as an alternative. The fact is, the number-one threat faced by the United States from Iraq today is the creation of a lawless, non-state entity among the Iraqi Sunni that serves to feed a regional and global anti-American Jihad.”

Scott Ritter, whose dire predictions in 2003 for the outcome of the U.S. invasion of Iraq have proven to be preternaturally correct


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