Presented by Lapham's Quarterly and the Institute for the Future of the Book

Table of Comments

Total Comments in Report: 92

Comments on

2. The Iraq International Support Group

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I have a few problems with this section on Saudi Arabia.

Firstly, if Iran was seriously interested in cementing its influence in Iraq, and was convinced it could succeed, then Saudi Arabia’s nonagression pact would be of little interest to it.

Secondly, if Saudi Arabia can “help Iraq confront and eliminate al Qaeda in Iraq,” why can’t we press them to do that now? Similarly, why can they not be pressed to persuade the Syrians to cooperate now?

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But the United States has a delicate balance of interests with Turkey and the Kurds. At the moment, we owe the Kurds a great deal, for theirs is the only part of Iraq that can be called (relatively) stable or prosperous. Their achievements are due to the autonomy they currently enjoy, and they may gain further autonomy as we seek to stabilize the rest of the country. Kurdish independence may become a fact on the ground long before the final status of the region is formally decided.

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The Support Group should also bear in mind that these interests might be fundamentally incompatible.

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Will Egypt be able to reconcile supporting Sunni political participation while it is suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood at home?