A Future Without Tipping Points

A Future Without Tipping Points

David Sanger
at the Times wrote a good insight into the shifting tone of the
administration on Iraq. It conforms to my analysis (which is always
nice on a personal level, even if it is depressing in its macro

Senior officials say the intelligence reports flowing
over their desks in recent months argue that even if democratic
institutions take hold, the insurgency may strengthen. And that
possibility has created a quandary for an administration that
desperately wants to equate democracy-building with winning the war,
but so far has not been able to match the two.

With mid-term elections coming up and the Republican party on the ropes
(particularly due to a President that has approval ratings equal to
Jimmy Carter at his nadir), the need to find a way out will intensify.
This pressure will become particularly intense this spring since there
won't be any future “tipping points” to rely upon:

The real test may come after parliamentary elections,
which, if the constitution is found to have passed this weekend, are
scheduled for Dec. 15. After that date, a senior administration
official noted with some dread in his voice, “there are no more
democratic landmarks for us to point to – that's when we learn whether
the Iraqi state can stay together.”

If democracy doesn't prove to be the answer, the only remaining option
may be an open-source El Salvadorian counter-insurgency.   [John Robb's Weblog]

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