November 29, 2005

Rebutting Odom VII

Finally got a link to Gen. Odom's recent column on Iraq. Gen. Odom is a serious man and deserves to have his views addressed seriously. I completely disagree with them.

Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

6) Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors

6) On Iraq’s neighbors. The civil war we leave behind may well draw in Syria, Turkey and Iran. But already today each of those states is deeply involved in support for or opposition to factions in the ongoing Iraqi civil war. The very act of invading Iraq almost insured that violence would involve the larger region. And so it has and will continue, with, or without, US forces in Iraq.

I don't think that Syria's current position in Lebanon, where it has to support its proxies covertly, is better for Syria than its position two years ago when it could do so overtly with a strong and open Syrian presence. I'm sure that Syria would prefer to be open about its support for certain factions in Iraq too but that would lead to a US response that would decapitate the Syrian regime.

So is Lebanon today better for the US than Lebanon two years ago? It certainly is better for Lebanon itself and I think it is better for the US too. Would open Syrian intervention in Anbar and surrounding provinces be a preferred US outcome? Only if Syria having troops in the Bekaa was a preferred outcome for us.

Posted by TMLutas at November 29, 2005 04:03 PM