(continued from the previous post)
Our presence in Iraq will immediately land us in numerous quagmires. First of all, Iraq, like Yugoslavia, is an artificially-created nation with disputed borders. It will take a Herculean effort to prevent Iraq from splintering into its historical component parts (Kurdistan, Mesopotamia, Basra, etc.), and to quell ancient tribal conflicts (much like those in
Afghanistan) that will be uncorked once Saddam's totalitarian grip is removed. Iraq is also embroiled in long-standing border disputes with Iran, Turkey and Kuwait, so expect to become embroiled in those conflicts immediately.
Dealing will all of those headaches will preoccupy our military. Already, the military has requested 75,000 peacekeeper troops to help stabilize a post-Saddam Iraq. (Again, since we're doing this on our own, we won't able to turn that job over to the U.N.) That's a sizable chunk of our forces, with another big chunk still busy in Afghanistan. By stretching ourselves this thin, we compromise our ability to respond to new crises as they arise in other parts of the world. One of the lessons of WWII is that it is unwise to fight a war on multiple fronts.
Since the specter of WWII has appeared, let's also address the much-espoused idea that taking out Saddam is simply the right thing to do, and that anyone who opposes this action must be some latter day Neville Chamberlain. This argument is pure rhetoric and demagoguery. It holds no water. Although valid comparisons can be drawn between Hussein and Hitler, Iraq is not Nazi Germany. At the beginning of WWII, Germany had one of the strongest militaries in the world (at that point, more powerful than America's) and a strong industrial base. Iraq has neither. What Iraq does have are chemical and biological weapons, but no long-range delivery systems for those weapons, and the desire (but not capability) for nuclear weapons. Iraq is simply not capable of wreaking the kind of havoc the Nazis caused.
(continued in the next post)