Iraq Act IV Drafts intro

I’m stealing the metaphor used by Thomas Ricks in his update (paperback edition) to his magisterial Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Might better be labeled misadventure, but it is the definitive work from the US military side of the war.

Ricks deploys this metaphor. Iraq is like a Five Act Shakespearian Tragedy.

Act I: Run up to the war and the initial invasion
Act II: The beginning of the insurgency, the American army shifting from conquering force to occupation, and (Scene III 2006) the igniting of the Civil War
Act III: The Surge Strategy
Act IV: To come but outlines clear: will be defined mostly in terms of negatives (prevent civil war, prevent genocide, prevent regional conflict or invasion by other countries). And the beginning of the US drawdown/pullout.
Act V: ???

It’s worth noting that no Act to date has gone according to plan, so don’t expect IV to be any different.

In the last few weeks we have seen a number of serious proposals that are the screenplay drafts for Act IV.  I’ll examine four:  Barack Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s, A Responsible Plan to End the Iraq War, and Ambassador Thomas Pickering’s Plan for an increased UN role in Iraq.

I’ll deal with each one, highlighting relatives strengths and weaknesses and then perhaps conclude with an uber-post creating a more synthetic view.

Relevant Sidenote: John McCain is not on this list because McCain refuses to move into Act IV believing that the play can continue with Act III (sustained escalation strategy) for an indefinite time to come.

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Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 8:09 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. […] March 26, 2008 Iraq Act IV: Obama Posted by cjsmith under Politics, iraq | Tags: Barack Obama, Iraq Plan |   For background on this series, here. […]

  2. […] the other posts in this series, here and […]


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