Iraq After 2008

Question: How high are the stakes in Iraq for the next administration?

 

James Goldgeier:  Yeah, well we can't afford-- we've had three now. We've had two we're about to have the third. George H.W. handed it to Bill Clinton, Clinton to Bush, Bush is going to hand it off to either Obama or McCain. And we can't afford a fourth. I mean, really I would hope the lesson people would draw, again, is see Iraq in this nearly 20-year context, and the United States really focused far too heavily on that country to the expense of the other problems we face in the world. And we really have to-- this next president has to extricate the United States from Iraq. You know, in a way, you know, we can-- we have to hope that we leave a situation that's stale. We need to involve the other countries in the region. We have to help find a regional solution. But we can't keep America in Iraq the way it's been in this administration. We just can't afford it. We have too many other things that we have to deal with. And, you know, whether it's Obama or McCain, they're coming in, they're going to have to deal with Iraq. It's going to be, you know, huge issue for them. But they can't let that issue dominate their presidency the way it has this presidency because otherwise we're really not going to get a handle on the other issues out there, including the global economy, which, you know, is clearly in bad shape. There's a lot of backlash now against globalization. The United States has to take the lead on trying to keep an open global economy, a trading economy. You know, we have energy supply issues to worry about. We have got to-- the next president has to extricate the United States from Iraq.

 

Recorded on: 07/08/2008

 

James Goldgeier says the next administration will have to resolve Iraq as well as address the facets of globalization we have been ignoring

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