A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Only Our War is Over

As the last US forces furled and cased their colors and prepared to leave Iraq, a reasonable amount of apprehension about the future of that country is understandable. After eight years, in which a "cakewalk" became a quagmire but, in time, was stabilized, what did the US accomplish? What was once a regional power providing a counterbalance to Iranian power is a much weaker player on friendly terms with Iran. It has an elected government and a fragile stability whose future is uncertain. Some of the most difficult questions of all, such as the future of Kirkuk, remain unresolved. We haven't talked about Iraq lately, in part I think because of a US determination to put it behind us. It's Iraq's problem now.

Whether the war was "worth it" will be debated for a long time, in Iraq and in the US. What happens next may influence how that question is ultimately answered, I suspect.


Anonymous said...


Michael Collins Dunn said...

I know . . . and don't know if we'll get out so easily, if you consider nine years easy.

Anonymous said...

"Worth it" for whom? The evaluation will surely come out differently for the various parties involved.