Juan Cole’s Withdrawal Plan

JUAN COLE’S WITHDRAWAL PLAN….Juan Cole, who rightly believes that immediate withdrawal from Iraq would almost certainly lead to a bloody and savage civil war, has a 10-point proposal for a withdrawal plan that he thinks would avoid that. Very roughly, the plan has two parts:

  1. Remove U.S. troops from urban areas immediately and from the rest of Iraq sometime after that. However, continue to offer close air support and other limited military assistance to prevent large-scale civil war between massed troops and to help ensure the stability of the elected government.

  2. In return, demand some changes in Iraqi law that would encourage stability, and participate in regular 6+2 meetings of surrounding countries “to help put Iraq back on its feet through diplomacy and multilateral aid.”

It’s worth a look. I have some doubts that either the military or the civil side of his plan is workable, but at least it sets out a framework for discussion. Whether you like his plan or not, it’s the kind of thing serious withdrawal supporters should be talking about.