William S. LindÂ is an originator of Fourth Generation War (4GW), authority on military affairs, and a paleoconservative. Forget his politics, his ideas for how the US can get out of Iraq deserve a wide audience.
Lind says that there needs to be a state in the stateless area that is now Iraq. This would reduces the possibility that non-state players, the real enemy, will have a base to operate in. This can only be done via an indirect approach, because the US no longer has the power to create a state there, and in fact, never did. Therefore, seek a rapprochement with Iran, because any real Iraqi state will be allied with them. Then, let go.Â Stop trying to dictate who will run the government in Iraq, even if it ends up being al-Sadr.
Under his leadership, or that of anyone else in Iraq with a shred of legitimacy, a restored Iraqi state will not be a friend of America. Given what we have done to that country, we can hardly expect it to be. But our new strategy has no such unattainable objective. Its objective is solely the restoration of a real state, and that al-Sadr may be able to accomplish.
And if the result includes Sunni-Shia rivalry then, quoting James Kurth,
In the Muslim world there might be Sunni Islamists and Shiâ€™ite Islamists, but each might consider their greatest enemy to be not the United States, but each other.
His final step towards the formation of a state in Iraq is the withdrawal all US troops within 12-18 months. Lind sees this as the best possible way for the US to extricate itself from Iraq. He knows there is no chance the Bush Administration will adopt this strategy but hopes some of the presidential candidates will pick up on it.
If all this could actually happen, the region would be at peace and the US would be gone. Works for me.