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Commentary – why we should stay in Iraq (if they’ll have us)

In my ongoing quest to be perhaps the most unpopular person ever on the National Journal’s  security blog, I’ve posted my argument for why we should keep at least 10,000 troops in Iraq after the current withdrawal deadline expires on December 31st — if the Iraqis are willing to have us:

If the Iraqi government can get its act together to ask us to stay, we should stay. If they don’t, we shouldn’t strong-arm them….we have to remember that Iraqi democracy is still inchoate, the relationship between the Arabs and Kurds is still tense, and the Iraqi air force has no ability to defend the nation’s airspace. America is going to have to guarantee Iraq against both civil war and foreign aggression for years to come, and it’d be a lot easier to do that with some forces on the ground.

For the full post in context, go to the current discussion on the National Journal blog — so far, everyone who’s posted has disagreed with me — but you’ll have to come back here to comment, since posting on the NJ blog is by invitation only.

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