Funny how quickly this always gets back to Germany, as Andrew Sullivan notes. For the record, and once again: Iraq is not Germany, nor is it South Korea. Iran is not Nazi Germany, nor the Soviet Union. The Islamist radicals are a terrible danger, as we learned on 9/11, but not an existential threat to the U.S. Any attempt to compare the current situation with Nazi Germany, as George W. Bush did recently in Jerusalem, or with post-war Germany, as Max Boot is doing in Commentary, is comparing apples and helium balloons.
We should act in accordance with the wishes of the sovereign Iraqi government: a continued U.S. presence marked by a gradual, responsible drawdown–which, my military sources estimate, would leave us with approximately 30,000 troops in Iraq in 2012. The drawdown should continue after that, leaving no long-term U.S. bases in Iraq. Ryan Crocker told a group of Time editors several months ago that he didn’t believe the Iraqis wanted a long-term U.S. presence. We should give the Iraqis what they want. Imperium doesn’t suit us, never has.