Post Defeat Iraq

While there are some in the reality based community who seem to think that the Iraq war will be over as soon as the US leaves, I think the most likely scenario is continued war. The model the terrorists have always had for Iraq is the Afghanistan war. After the Soviets left, there was a civil war for a few years and then Pakistan backed the Taliban which took over. The populace was so tired of war they initially embraced the peace of the Taliban, while the Taliban made Afghanistan into a terrorist haven.
Something very similar is likely to happen in Iraq with Iran taking the place of Pakistan. The difference is that since Iraq has oil wealth the civil war preceding the Iran backed takeover is likely to be much bloodier since the stakes will be higher. Also the fate of Afghanistan was a concern of just Pakistan, but Iraq has many more interested parties. Saudi Arabia would hate to have two huge Shiite states next door and would likely back with money and arms Sunni militias. Jordan and Israel would be very concerned about the prospect of an Islamic republic in Iraq and would at least build up their militaries to deal with the threat. Syria may continue to back Iran and the Shiite militias or it may seek to impose its will on Iraq as it has on Lebanon.
The most likely scenario is that after an initial phase of anarchy there will be a three sided civil war. The Sunni militias versus the Shiite militias versus the Government backed by Kurdish militias. The government forces will likely be defeated first, leading to withdrawal of Kurdish militias to Kurdistan. Then fighting between Iran backed Shiite militias and Saudi backed Sunni militias. The greater number of Shiites will probably lead to Shiite victory after which they will turn their attention on Kurdistan. This could pose a dilemma for Turkey which will want neither an independent Kurdistan nor an Iran client state next door. They will probably decide Kurdistan would be worse and do nothing. Conquering Kurdistan will be difficult but without help Kurdistan can not hold out forever. Iran would emerge as the big winner and a regional superpower. However, if the war goes on to long popular unrest in Iran could intensify and lead to regime change there. They are making a big gamble, but if they control the military with sufficient ruthlessness popular opinion will not matter.
After seeing the US leave with its tail between its legs, intervention by the UN to stop the killing will be politically impossible. The situation will be like that of Darfur, lots of western hand wringing while the bodies pile up. Also since the millions of deaths could be blamed on the US the rest of the world will have even less incentive to intervene.

Share this


Can you put some paragraph breaks in here? It would make it much easier to read.