Avoiding Iraq Syndrome

Viewpoint: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, warns against letting the failure in Iraq cause America to lose sight of its global role

Not much about Iraq can be predicted with confidence, but this much can: for the foreseeable future, it will be a messy country with a weak central government, a divided society and regular violence. At worst, as the Iraq Study Group report warns, Iraq will become a failed state racked by civil war that could spill over and engulf several of its neighbors.

Either way, the human, economic, political and military costs of the Iraq war will mount. Scenes of chaos and human misery in Iraq would fuel bitterness against the U.S., first for having initiated the war, then for leaving...

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