In the Arena

Better in Iraq?

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Spencer Ackerman has a smart analysis over at Tapped. I’m a bit less sanguine about the Sadr-Hakim peace holding for very long–there are constant skirmishes between the two factions throughout the Iraqi south, I’m told. But Ackerman’s point about the rise of Sunni military power–67,000 militia-men in arms–is a good one. The trouble is, this could easily go the other way: away from reconciliation, toward warlordism. Which is why this is the time for a high-profile US diplomatic push in Iraq.

And finally, let me emphasize the most important point: The defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq means that our military work is pretty much over. We should commence a stately withdrawal–a brigade a month–as quickly as possible. The remaining violence in Iraq is mostly internecine, and none of our business; the remaining problems are political and can only be solved by Iraqis.