What’s going on in Iraq? Let’s check in with Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack:
The debate is over: By any definition, Iraq is in a state of civil war…
Welcome to the new “new Middle East” — a region where civil wars could follow one after another, like so many Cold War dominoes.
And unlike communism, these dominoes may actually fall.
In other news, we’re just weeks away from the 4th anniversary of the publication of Pollack’s book The Threatening Storm. I wonder how it’s holding up? Let’s read page 268:
Imagine how different the Middle East and the world would be if a new Iraqi state were stable, prosperous, and a force for progress in the region, not a source of violence and instability. Imagine if we could rebuild Iraq as a model of what a modern Arab state could be, showing the frustrated and disenfranchised of the Arab world what they should be trying to fashion. Imagine if there were a concrete symbol demonstrating that America seeks to help the Arab world rather than repress. Invading Iraq might not just be our least bad alternative, it potentially could be our best course of action.
By the way, this was Pollack’s explanation of why Saddam was so dangerous:
[Saddam’s] own determination to interpret geopolitical calculations to suit what he wants to believe anyway lead him to construct bizarre scenarios that he convinces himself are highly likely.