How to Leave Iraq

If done right, a withdrawal could save American lives, contain the violence and restore U.S. credibility

Anthony Suau for TIME

Soldiers are deployed to Iraq from Fort Benning, Georgia.

There are two big schools of thought about what the U.S. should do next in Iraq, and both schools are almost certainly wrong.

The first, represented by many congressional Democrats, argues that it is past the time for America to leave. The best thing that could happen now is for the U.S. to pull out as quickly as possible, force the Iraqis to take control of their destinies and compel the oil-rich gulf states in the neighborhood to get off the sidelines. In this view, leaving Iraq would deny al-Qaeda its best recruiting tool, a large...

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