Discussing retreat or fighting in Iraq Part 2 - 7.10.2007.2
Continued from Discussing retreat or fighting in Iraq Part 1...
Looking at the other side of this issue, we see those that wish to fight until all opposition is removed. Such an action requires the building of a colony or commonwealth. It would involved the complete takeover by the United States. Iraq would cease to be independent and fighting would continue for about 2 generations. This plan would require that America rebuild the entire nation. A new infrastructure, buildings, economy and education system would need to be created. Military bases would have to be installed. The cost to America would be enormous, with any return on the investments there not being seen for 5 years to a decade.
An immediate problem would be the response by moderate and liberal nations in the world. France as an example would likely be outraged by ‘actions in America that harkens back to imperialist empire-building.’ During the first 10 years at least there would be constant attacks on Iraq, with several nations (notably Iran) claiming that this was an attack on Islam. The loss of soldiers would increase roughly 10-fold over the first 10 years.
Given history, it would be expected that assimilation would begin after the generation raised with improved facilities (hospitals, schools, running water, ect) reached the age of 25, and began families of their own. By the second generation internal support of America would be high and the improved quality of life would draw more moderate individuals from neighboring countries. Stateside, there would be fewer attacks but they would be more severe, as the emphasis would be on destabilizing Iraq. Liberals in America would be enraged, and strong divisions in both political parties would emerge. Taxes would increase to offset the investment in Iraq, but economic returns would improve roughly 7-12 years after the start of this program.
As neither of these extremes is attractive, or viable, what alternative exists? There is no plan offered currently other than that of continued fighting. The current plan requires Iraq to stabilize it’s government, which is not happening. The near civil war in Iraq will likely take about a decade to resolve, with continued U.S. support. Current strategies will continue the slow loss of American soldiers and high cost of fighting. Within 2 years taxes will have to be increased to cover the cost. The strain on the economy will be increased, and corporations will seek to gouge business in Iraq to make up for the risk and protracted cost.
Without U.S. support, actual civil war will occur, with Iran and several other nations supporting various groups in the fighting. The Middle East will have higher tensions, oil prices will go up. Hundreds of thousands will die. Likely an autocratic if not theocratic government will be formed and tens of thousand will be jailed in response to having aided the U.S. efforts or those of other groups. The children that lost family, as well as grown adults will be convinced that America was the cause of the current ills, and that they are worse than the subjugation of Saddam Hussein and the Baath party. Within 7 years, recruits to Al Quida and similar groups will triple to a 5-fold increase. Within 2 years of a gradual loss of U.S. support, without a strong central government, America will have a major attack, with several minor attacks similar to those that have occurred in England happening before and after the main attack.
Continued in Part 3...