The calls for the full withdrawal of U. S. troops in Iraq who are maintaining their presence for the purpose of security was come from locally and internationally. The bulk of arguments for the initiative are rooted from the criticisms of the U. S. military initiative against Iraq but there is a growing sentiment that the war has become prolonged and exhausting (“Troops Cheer Call for Iraq Withdrawal”, 2007). Some have also pointed out that the military presence in Iraq is becoming a source of greater contention in the Middle East. Shrestha and Gray (2006) point out that the issue has exacerbated anti-U.
S. sentiment in the region. However, there is also the reality that withdrawal from Iraq has to be reflected in carefully because of its implications on the country and on the position of the US as a world leader (Knowlton, 2007). The purpose of this paper is to determine if U. S. forces turning over security to Iraqi authorities can bring about the end to the war in Iraq. Factors that will be considered will include the stability of political and social institutions in the country and existing alternatives or strategies to the proposed military withdrawal.
In due course, the paper will determine the validity of opinions supporting and contrary to the said initiative. Evaluation of Arguments According to some opinion, the turnover of security to Iraqi forces is considered imperative both to end the presence of external military powers in the country as well as to ease tension among local factions. Richardson (2007) points out that instead of strengthening initiatives against tourism, supporting military presence in Iraq also diminishes the resources available in pursing terrorist groups in other part of the word.
Considering that terrorist threat in Iraq has been supposedly contained with the ouster of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of the new Iraqi government, there is no operational and strategic purpose in U. S. military presence in the country is a moot point. According to Milligan (2006), U. S. President George W. Bush has pointed out that if U. S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq before security and peace issues are fully resolved, it will only serve to strengthen terrorist groups. Zalen (2006) also points out that it will also leave U. S. allies, such as Israel, vulnerable to the backlash of anti-U. S. sentiments. Furthermore, quoting Dr.
Mark Heller, a research director at the Institute for National Security Studies, she points out those recent developments in the socio-political dynamics in region, particularly in relation to Iran, leaves Iraq and all other neighboring countries vulnerable to attack. Discussion The presence of the U. S. military forces in Iraq has been debated significantly, however, as public opinion supporting the withdrawal of troops in the country gain momentum, the issue has shifted to whether doing so will be effective in ending conflicts or not. The U. S. has justified this as part of its “big brother” in the international community (Milligan, 2006).
However, unlike the withdrawal from Vietnam, the US still maintains significant presence in Afghanistan and Iraq despite public concerns against it. The Middle East has become a focal point of peace and security issues the last fifty years because of not necessarily the existence of threats but also because of the region’s role in economics, international security and politics. There is a recognized urgency in developing peace and development for the region particularly in the interest of stabilizing the world’s oil markets and fostering transportation, logistics and communication between Europe and Asia (Milligan, 2007).
Both arguments for and against the turnover of security to local authorities in Iraq have their point. More importantly, they have the same objectives: to foster peace and stability not only in Iraq but in the rest of the Middle East. Undoubtedly, the presence of any foreign military power can be a source of conflict or tension and in a region like the Middle East, this is amplified by historical conflicts with Western powers (Hossein-Zadeh, 2005). Earlier in the year, Knowlton (2007), the U. S. has still been reluctant to withdraw its security forces despite the increase in non-combat casualties from Iraqi militia attacks.
One of the main reasons cited for the security forces is the lack of capability of the new Iraqi government to maintain peace and order. However, there has also been opinions that the U. S. military is becoming partisan to some militarized factions in these areas which in turn is augmenting tension between local groups (Hossein-Zadeh, 2005). Imai (2006) points out that these concerns have become of urgency because of globalization and greater economic and political interdependence among nations.
At the same time, this has also highlighted the discrepancies between the developed and lesser developed countries and the need for economic and social equity. Consequently, this has also stressed greater responsibility among more developed nations to provide to less developed ones. Thus, the presence of U. S. troops in Iraq has been argues to be in the interest of international cooperation and responsibility in dealing with global threats such as terrorism and security. From another perspective, the withdrawal of troops will also mean the end of social services that U.
S. military has been providing for Iraqis which include education, health and public works. Knowlton (2007) points out that Iraqi government still lacks the capacity to provide these services particularly in areas that are being controlled by U. S. forces which are also the most threatened by violence. Shrestha and Gray (2006) point out that this will also impact perceptions regarding the U. S. that it is throwing in the towel in the face of a prolonged conflicts, popularized by terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. Conclusion
Given the state of government in Iraq, its weak economy and peace and order situation, the withdrawal of security forces in Iraq will undermine, even invalidate the efforts against terrorism and peace not only in Iraq but in the whole Middle Eastern region. Therefore, the US security forces are still needed in Iraq. If there is any effort to transfer authority locally this should be done gradually and with methods that will allow seamless and effective transfer of operations. The withdrawal of the troops is not an issue to be limited to Iraq and US perspective and should consider the social, political and military power dynamics.
The continued instability of the government and conflicts between local factions can threaten the recovery of the country and serve to bring into reality existing fears of civil war. Even if only social support initiatives are to remain, they still need protection from insurgents who have proven their lack of discrimination in attacking between non-military operations and personnel whether local of foreign. As it is, the US forces stands as a stabilizing force as the Iraq endeavors to organize its government and society.
Hossein-Zadeh, Ismael (2005).The Muslim World and the West: The Roots Of Conflict. Arab Studies Quarterly 27(3):1-21 Imai, Kunihiko (2006). Culture, Civilization, Or Economy? Test of the Clash Of Civilizations Thesis. International Journal on World Peace, (23)3: 3-29 Knowlton, Brian (2007). Bush Warns U. S. Withdrawal From Iraq Would Destabilize Mideast. The New York Post Online, August 28. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from http://www. nytimes. com/2007/08/28/washington/28cnd-policy. html? ex=1345953600&en=d334cca38fb4a171&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Milligan, Susan Globe (2006).
Bush says Iraq pullout up to future presidents, Warns leaving too soon would boost Al Qaeda. The Boston Globe, March 22. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from http://www. boston. com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/03/22/bush_says_iraq_pullout_up_to_future_presidents/ Richardson, Bill (2007). Why We Should Exit Iraq Now. Washington Post, September 8: p. A15 Shrestha, Nanda and Gray, Kenneth (2006). Clash of Civilizations or Cartography of U. S. Global Domination. International Journal on World Peace. (23)3: 33-44 Troops Cheer Call For Iraq Withdrawal (2007).
CBS News, August 26. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/08/26/national/main3204570. shtml U. S. military turns over security responsibility to Iraqis in Karbala (2007). International Herald Tribune, October 29. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from http://www. iht. com/articles/ap/2007/10/29/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq-Karbala. php Zalen, Matt (2006). U. S. withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous for Israel. Jerusalem Post, October 25. Retrieved November 7, 2007, from http://www. jpost. com/servlet/Satellite? cid=1159193516026&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/