Keeping the Lid On

The negative effects of an Iraqi civil war can be mitigated, even if the conflict itelf cannot be quelled.

Issue: May-June 2007

IF THE surge fails, it is imperative that the United States have a plan for containing the Iraqi civil war. As painful as it may be to admit that the U.S. effort to bring peace and stability to Iraq has failed, our new priority must become preventing the Iraqi conflict from spilling over and destabilizing neighboring states. This will not be easy. In fact, the history of states trying to contain the "spillover" from civil wars suggests that it will be very hard for the United States to do so. But planning now may allow the United States to mitigate spillover's worst effects.

What Spillover Means

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