Exiting Iraq: Why the U.S. Must End the Military Occupation and Renew the War against Al Qaeda


Christopher Preble is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. A former commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, he is a veteran of the Gulf War, having served on the USS Ticonderoga from 1990 to 1993.
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Christopher Preble is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. A former commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, he is a veteran of the Gulf War, having served on the USS Ticonderoga from 1990 to 1993.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930865648
  • Publisher: Cato Institute
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Pages: 98
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Executive Summary 1
Introduction 5
1. A Long-Term Military Occupation of Iraq Is Not in the Best Interests of the United States 11
2. The Occupation of Iraq Is Counterproductive to Addressing the Terror Threat 19
3. A Long-Term Military Occupation Is Burdensome, Risky, and Ultimately Unsustainable 35
4. A Democratic Middle East Is a Chimera 45
5. How We Get Out 53
Conclusion 69
Notes 73
Task Force Members 81
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    Very good case for pulling out of Iraq

    The authors realistically define vital US security interests as `protecting the lives and well-being of Americans¿. So they urge the USA to cut its losses, withdraw from Iraq and respect its sovereignty and independence. ¿The United States must promptly end its military occupation of Iraq. A military withdrawal will maximize America¿s ability to refocus its efforts on the fight against Al Qaeda and other anti-American terrorist groups with global reach and, at the same time, minimize the risks to vital US national security interests.¿ ¿There is no economic imperative for keeping troops there. The American military presence is not essential, and might even be detrimental, to ensuring access to Persian Gulf oil. ¿ US policy in the Persian Gulf should not be based on the assumption that the region¿s energy resources will not make it to market absent the presence of US troops. Oil is the principal source of revenue for the Persian Gulf countries; they could not withhold it from world markets without committing economic suicide.¿ Bush and Blair told us that the occupation would pay for itself and that post-war Iraq would quickly settle into a stable peace. They now want US and British troops to occupy Iraq indefinitely, regardless of costs and risks. But ¿The military occupation of Iraq is counterproductive to winning the war on terrorism, enormously costly, militarily and economically unnecessary, and politically unsustainable. ¿ it emboldens anti-American terrorists to expand their operations, both against the forces in their neighbourhood and ultimately on American soil. And the presence of an American military garrison in Iraq weakens the forces of democratic reform by undermining an indigenous government¿s authority and credibility.¿ ¿Iraq is many years away from becoming a stable unified democracy, and there is nothing that the United States can do to alter this state of affairs.¿ A democratic Middle East is a `chimera¿, so ¿U.S. military withdrawal should not be predicated on the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq.¿ No conditions should be set for withdrawal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

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