Iraq: What's Next?

We need allies at home and abroad, says Zakheim.
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TRANSCRIPT

Dov Zakheim: Well obviously Iraq is very much on my mind. It’s on my mind not just because I was there in the Pentagon when we went in, but more important because there’s a real disconnect between the strategic clock on the ground in Iraq and the strategic clock at home. And frankly the third strategic clock, which is with our allies and the rest of the world. Far too often, we tend to think of only one of those. But will happen on the ground in Iraq. You can’t win if you can’t win at home. And I don’t think you can win if you operate all by yourself either. That’s where Afghanistan is a much better model where the U.N. was in there from the start, and other countries were in there from the start. Once there’s that disconnect, then you run the risk of making the wrong decision, because you realize the clocks are out of sync. I think the biggest risk you run over the next year is pulling out. Pulling out will be a disaster. Pulling out would fulfill all the worst prophecies that people made about the Middle East. But you know, if public opinion remains as strongly opposed, or even more strongly opposed to Iraq than it is today, that could lead to some kind of really bad mistake.

Recorded on: 7/2/2007 at The Aspen Ideas Festival