How to get out of Iraq

This feature by Peter W. Galbraith makes a compelling case for how the U.S. can extricate itself from the disaster that Iraq has become. Along the way, he does a good job of touching on the positive aspects of this war (namely the removal of Saddam Hussein). To sum up his solution, it is a loose confederation of three separate states, with their own governments, militaries, etc. The only connections between them would be a relatively weak central government and revenue-sharing of oil sales (to prevent the “Sunni triangle”, which lacks oil, from being impoverished).

While it is far from the grand Bush vision of Iraq as a democratic example for the Middle East, it would probably be far better than the current situation.

The U.S. reaps a whirlwind in Iraq

This article does a good job of laying out the mistakes that both the U.S. and the UN have made. Especially important is his point that UN involvement won’t have the desired effect if they’re seen as nothing more than a proxy for U.S. interests.

Iraq duty deters re-enlistment

We can only hope this is a one-time blip instead of a signal of a longer-term problem.

I’m only a civilian, so it’s not clear to me why the Army couldn’t swap soldiers between Iraq and other bases in Europe or Southeast Asia. While it wouldn’t get them all the way home, it would at least get them out of the hot zone so they could decompress before coming home. The long duty has to be grinding these guys down.

Our Last Real Chance

Excellent column by Fareed Zakaria on how the situation in Iraq might be salvaged. Especially interesting is the parallel he creates between the existing militias in Afghanistan and the ones in Iraq. He makes a compelling case that it’s a poor policy.

We can only pray that the persistent stubbornness of the officials in charge of this debacle will be broken, before it’s too late.

Self-serving Gasoline Complaints

Good column on the current debate over what to do about the high price of gasoline in the US. Not only does he talk about the failure of both major parties to do anything about raising miles-per-gallon standards, he skewers the argument that drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Some news and commentary on the topic these days points to refinery capacity or the switch to “summer blend” fuel as one cause of price increases. Easterbrook doesn’t touch on that, or the patchwork or state laws governing what additives can be put into gasoline. But the miles-per-gallon issue is the most important.