The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Words on the SOFA

July 17, 2008

Dr. iRak has a terrific discussion of the increasingly confusing information concerning whether or not Maliki called for a US withdrawal from Iraq.

It makes good reading in conjunction with today’s New York Times article discussing the ambivalence many Iraqis feel about a possible Obama victory.

I made a brief case against a US pullout from Iraq lat December. But I also see the wisdom behind Obama’s plan to use a phased withdraw as a way of leveraging the Iraqis. Clearly, a completely open-ended commitment generates moral hazards in US dealings with the current government. So a lot depends on just what the “residual force” entails, and how willing Obama is to adjust policy as circumstances shift. Given the quality of his people, I’m increasingly confident that they’ll handle the US presence in a responsible manner.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.