Fred Kaplan: Welcome to the Quagmire

Slate‘s Fred Kaplan surveys the likely situation for the winner of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Iraq’s presidential council has vetoed a law that called for provincial elections in October 2008. The “Sunni Awakening” militia forces formed to drive Al Qaeda jihadists out of Baghdad are having second thoughts. Finally, U.S. military commanders are reconsidering their timeline to end troop pullouts for “the surge”. Collectively, these three developments point to a power struggle between different Shiite factions, and undercuts the possibility of a post-U.S. election withdrawal. Kaplan concludes that John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will each face a more complex security situation in Iraq, and more difficult decisions on the deployment of U.S. military forces, than the Bush Administration has faced to-date. Just don’t mention the situation in Afghanistan . . .

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