Dean Rohrer

Iraq’s Politics, Iraq’s Problem

The notion that Iraq’s ongoing political problems were caused by America’s departure, or that they could be improved by its return, is something that only a solipsistic American could believe. In fact, not everything that happens in Iraq reflects the presence – or absence – of US troops.

DENVER – The narrative of contemporary Iraq is becoming etched in stone: United States troops are leaving, and the country is falling apart. Iraq, we are told, is once again on the brink of dictatorship, this time under the Shia politician Nuri al-Maliki, who has been prime minister since 2006.

The notion that Iraq’s ongoing political problems were caused by America’s departure, or that they could be improved by its return, is something that only a solipsistic American could believe. In fact, not everything that happens in Iraq reflects the presence – or absence – of US troops.

Iraq’s political problems are of Iraq’s making, and need to be resolved by Iraqis. Outside mediation can help. But no one should be under the illusion that foreign troops, engaged for eight years as a post-invasion occupying force, are ideal for this task.

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