As I am sure most of you know, last week the Iraq Study Group released its long-awaited report on the status of the war in Iraq. Established 8 months ago, the bipartisan group was created to report the status of the war and also suggest tactical recommendations to the President. The committee claims that enacting their 70+ proposals would leave Iraq safe enough for US troops to begin being removed from Iraq in 2008.
However, as the Economist so poignantly asserted, setting an arbitrary date for troop withdrawl would be disastrous. Enacting such a proposal would mean that US troops must leave Iraq, even if the mission remains unaccomplished. Though the war strategy has been rather unsuccessful, leaving Iraq to the mercy of radical insurgents and the mullahs of Iran could very well embroil the Middle East in a full scale war.
Recently, information was obtained by several news sources which indicated that if the United States left Iraq soon, Saudi Arabia would flood the oil market in order to limit the capital Iran can use in fomenting a rebellion in Iraq. The Saudis and Iran are historical enemies and an insecure Iraq could tip the balance of power in the Middle East, setting off a disastrous regional struggle.
Though the Iraq Study Group may be right in concluding that Bush mishandled the Iraq War and that victory is far from near, to enact the proposals of the Baker-Hamilton Committee would damage US prestige and leave the Middle East in a state of instability and conflict.