February 09, 2004

Civil War Watch

Michael Doran mediates a debate between Martin Indyk and Les Gelb on the future of Iraq. Indyk wants us to strive for a single, unitary state--Gelb is looking favorably at a confederation option (he seems to have walked back a bit from calling outright for three sovereign states to emerge in Iraq).

I side with Indyk on this one (although his haughtier than thou Clinton alum breezy put-downs of Bush Administration diplomacy sprinkled through the transcript are a bit annoying).

B.D. had a piece up reacting to Gelb's initial op-ed a while back. I called it then a "very, very bad idea." Nothing Gelb said in the debate makes me change my mind.

That said, like Gelb, I'm very concerned about the specter of an Iraqi civil war breaking out in the next months and years.

Gelb:

"[Iraq] is on the verge of civil wars. I think if you don't see that, and if you think that everybody considers themselves a happy Iraqi and there's no ethnic strife, then you're missing what's really happening in that country, and you're missing the tidal wave that's about to hit us. That's what I'm worried about. I want to act, based on these ethnic realities, and they are the underlying realities, before that tidal wave hits us. As soon as we begin to get out, these folks will start killing each other, unless we prepare for it in the way I describe."

I'll have more on this prospective "tidal wave" soon, ie. how likely it is, how to mitigate the chances of it coming about, and more. So stay tuned.

Posted by Gregory at February 9, 2004 01:01 PM
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