Essay on The Anti Withdrawal

2353 Words 10 Pages
The documents in the “Against Withdrawal” dossier provide a comprehensive and roughly chronological overview of the various arguments in favor of a sustained American military presence in Iraq. Tracking the evolution of the anti-withdrawal stance from 2006 through 2011, the articles present a united assessment of the situation on the ground that remains remarkably consistent over time. All of these authors contend, to some degree, that any apparent progress toward a secure Iraqi state and stable political environment is probably illusory and likely fragile if it indeed exists, and that the premature departure of a stabilizing external force could result in the worst possible outcome for both Iraqi and American national interests – a regression into sectarian civil war and attendant instability throughout the region.
However, though the ends they prescribe are largely comparable – to engender a secure environment and thriving political institutions as a means of achieving broader, second-order societal goals – the authors differ on their visions for the role of the military in accomplishing these aims. In this essay, I examine how each article justifies our continuing military presence as a necessary point of leverage to forward American national interests in Iraq, framing my assessment in the context of the lessons provided by Gideon Rose’s piece on Bosnia. I find that the pre-surge and post-surge articles vary considerably in their rationale for the necessity of an armed…

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