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Finding an Exit from Iraq

Feb 24 2005 12:00 am


a panel discussion with

AMB. RICHARD MURPHY, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East)


, Director, Middle East practice, eurasia group

Moderated by

, WPI Senior Fellow, Director, Eurasia Group

Iraq has been sovereign for eight months. A democratically elected government replaces the interim one in March. The Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC) is geared up to fill the vacuum left by Saddam Hussein's demobilized army, and oil production - shy of expectations - is nonetheless a substantial source of revenues. Certainly, Iraq is ready to stand on its own. But Iraq is also beleaguered by an violent insurgency, the ICDC, while large, can barely maintain urban order let alone control Iraq's borders and large swaths in the west of the country, and governments hostile to US allies, are perched to lure the fledgling Iraqi government into their orbit. A strong argument can be made for a continuing US presence, which begs questions: When can the US withdraw its troops? What happens when it does? In Iraq? Among its neighbors? And across the region? Iraq and the US are now intertwined in complicated ways, some of the US's own making, some arising from unexpected quarters. The overarching question is then: how can America disentangle itself without leaving the new Iraqi government dangling and exposed?  

Thursday, February 24, 2005, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Swayduck Auditorium, First Floor, 65 Fifth Avenue (between East 13-14th). Admission is free.



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