Decision Time for George Bush

DECISION TIME FOR GEORGE BUSH….Dan Drezner says that humanitarian success in postwar Iraq is essential, but that it requires a bigger peacekeeping force than we have now. So we can either go to the UN and try to get help from other countries or we can develop and train our own peacekeeping force. And that’s a dilemma that George Bush doesn’t seem willing to face:

What’s becoming increasingly clear to me is that the administration has yet to solve this particular dilemma — and that this will have disastrous implications for Iraq.

What’s worse, Dan says, is that all this is happening in the middle of a guerrilla war, so refusing to increase U.S. troop strength is almost certain to end in disaster:

Paul Bremer thinks the coalition successes in Iraq are being underplayed, and he’s probably right. No matter what those successes are, however, rising discontent in Baghdad and Basra are not a recipe for success. Until the administration renews its commitment to a free and stable Iraq, things will fall apart.

Unlike Dan, I think a better answer than more U.S. troops is to compromise with our allies so we can get more foreign help with Iraq. But I think we both agree that it has to be one or the other. The longer we dither and refuse to face this problem squarely, the worse it’s going to get.

Support the Washington Monthly and get a FREE subscription