Wow! Ronald Reagan’s former Ambassador to Moscow doesn’t blog very often, but has had two real zingers in the last two days. His newest post “Did We Really Win in Iraq?” starts off by saying:
The general opinion seems to be, “Yes. We removed a vicious dictator!” However, it is difficult to argue that removing that dictator, who was no threat to the United States, was worth the cost of lives and treasure when the result is an Iraq run by friends of Iran.
Matlock’s post has a lot more worth reading, which adds to my suggestion of yesterday that you subscribe to his blog.
While there have been many critiques of the Iraq War, this one is notable both because of its author’s credentials within the Republican Party (at least as it used to exist) and because it makes some points that need highlighting.
One point I’d like to add that is not generally recognized: By going to war with both Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States removed Iran’s two greatest enemies, giving it unprecedented power. We all know that Iran and Saddam’s Iraq were mortal enemies, but it is less well known that just prior to the US invasion, Iran and Afghanistan were close to war. By removing both Saddam and the Taliban from power, we created a clear path for Iran in the region! Yet that point never made it into the national debate about going to war — to the extent that there even was a debate as opposed to a drumbeat to war.
We need to think things through a lot more carefully before going to war. Removing brutal regimes clearly has an upside, but there are often downsides that we ought to consider and weigh in the balance.