Stating the Obvious
2:20 PM, Jan 15, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
The New York Times reports:
Germany couldn't protect its border until the fall of the Soviet Union. South Korea still can't defend its border. I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised to find out that Iraq will be unable to defend its border with Iran anytime soon. Even the most stable and wealthy countries in the region fear an Iranian attack, as demonstrated by the recent sale of $20 billion worth of arms to allied states in the Gulf.
If the Iraqis can manage their own internal security by 2012, that would mean U.S. soldiers would be relegated to a role similar to the one they played in Germany for much of the Cold War. I find that to be an optimistic assessment, but even so it seems entirely possible that American casualties (if not expenses) could be reduced to a level not all that different from what they might be during peace time at their bases in the United States. If that were to happen, and U.S. forces were to remain in the country to provide the kind of air power and maneuver warfare capability necessary to deter the regime in Tehran, that doesn't seem like a bad outcome at all. Certainly not worth the type of hyperventilating this report has caused on the left.