Iraq war ending for America

 Flag of Iraq Pictures, Images and Photos

The United States made news this week by announcing that their last combat brigade is leaving Iraq. This is not a surprise by any means and is right on the track that President Obama mentioned a while ago. However, that fact that it is actually happening is a big deal. For most of the time since the 2003 war started, it seemed like this day would never come. Now that the U.S. army is leaving the Middle East country a lot of questions remain about the future of not only Iraq but the entire region.

It is now clear that by invading Iraq it made Iran very dangerous to the region and to one of America’s most important allies, Israel. Throughout the 80′s and 90′s and until Saddam Hussein was captured, Iraq was the counter balance to Iran. The two countries have a bloody history and sort of cancelled each other out of becoming a threat to the region or the world. However, now that Iraq did not have a strong leader like Hussein in control it left Iran on its own to grow in to a real threat.

In other words, the Bush administration is responsible for Iran being the threat they are today. Oh yeah, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on that war, plus the hundreds of billions of dollars in brand equity that the United States lost around the world due this war (which has never been estimated, but is surely significant) is also Bush’s fault. This also means that he is responsible for much of the blame for the U.S. economy going downhill. Regardless, none of this answers what will happen to the future of Iraq and the Middle East.

First and foremost, Iran needs to be dealt with in some way. Hopefully this will not be militarily, although it seems more likely every day that it will. If they are not dealt with in time than an even worse scenario of Iran possessing a nuclear weapon will become reality. This will usher in a nuclear arms race in the region and will likely mean that future wars between Israel and Hezbollah or Syria will be that much more deadly. That is why Israel is likely to attack Iran’s nuclear sites before they build nuclear weapons.

For Iraq, it will be interesting to see whether or not their security forces and army are able to implement the practices that the U.S. army trained them on. The U.S. will still have over 50,000 non-combat troops stationed in Iraq but if things get messy they are not there to repel a resurgence of violence. The worst thing that can happen to Iraq is that things deteriorate to the point that the U.S. will need to re-enter the country. This scenario is actually not so bad for Iran however, because it will make the U.S. weaker and less able to attack them. It is possible that Iran will realize this and try to trigger a resurgence of violence in Iraq.

A nuclear Iran will also further hurt a fragile world economy and that is something that will hit close to home for everyone, unlike some other events in the Middle East. The next several months to two years will say a lot about how Iraq and the Middle East will pan out.