Publius Pundit

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Do we really want a timetable?

Filed under: Middle East

As British troops leave the south of Iraq, and Basra in particular, hell is slowly beginning to break loose. After leaving a governmental department building, masked gunmen from rival Shia factions immediately shot the place up in an attempt to take it over for themselves.

At least we can get a good look at as a case study of what would happen if troops were pulled from the country at large right now. It's important for the Iraqis to take responsibility, but every sectarian group has motives not in line with building a strong Iraqi democracy. The militias are all-powerful, so giving them so much responsibility now would only lead to chaos and likely ethnic cleansing. That can't be allowed to happen. That's why the country's centers of power need to be put firmly in control and the militias wiped out, with their remains scattering into the countryside where they can be picked off slowly.

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