Sitting on Bayonets: America's Postwar Challenges in Iraq

Michael Eisenstadt reckons that the Bush Administration sees the light at the end of the.... Well, let's just say in could be worse.

Issue: Summer 2004

Wars are ill-judged by their military outcomes or by the political repercussions that may follow in their wake. They often unleash social and political forces the ultimate impact of which can only be discerned years on. And they frequently produce unintended consequences that can pose complex and vexing challenges of their own that may contain within them the seeds of future conflicts. Those pondering the implications of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) one year on would do well to keep that in mind.

To a great extent, OIF was supposed to take care of the unfinished business of the Gulf War. It was intended to eliminate, once and for all, the regime of Saddam Hussein and the threat it posed to regional stability, and to set the stage for the emergence of a stable, peaceful Iraq, free of weapons of mass destruction, with a legitimate, representative government on the path to democracy.

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