Dan Froomkin on spending the next 50 years in Iraq:
It’s troubling because American troops have been in South Korea for more than 50 years — while polls show the American public wants them out of Iraq within a year.
It’s flawed because in South Korea, unlike Iraq, there’s something concrete to defend (the border with North Korea); and because Iraq, unlike South Korea, happens to be in a state of violent civil war.
It’s dangerous because the specter of a permanent military presence in Iraq is widely considered to be one of the most inflammatory incitements to Iraq’s ever-growing anti-American insurgency, and may even be destabilizing to the entire region.
And it’s telling because it gives credence to persistent suspicions that establishing a long-term strategic presence in the Middle East was a primary motivation for this misbegotten war in the first place.
Meanwhile, Atrios offers a must-read answer to the question, “Why do we stay in Iraq?”