The Magazine

Don't Abandon the Iraqis

The high stakes of the war.

May 28, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 35 • By FREDERICK W. KAGAN
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What will happen if we abandon these children? Death will stalk them and their families. Al Qaeda will attempt to subjugate them. Shia militias will drive them from their homes or kill them. And they and their neighbors, and everyone in the Middle East, will know we left them to their fate. Everyone will know, "Never trust the Americans." Everyone will warn their children, "The Americans will only betray you." We will cement our reputation as untrustworthy. We will lose this generation not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East. And we will have lost more than our reputation and our ability to protect our interests. We will have lost part of our soul.

--Frederick W. Kagan, for the Editors