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After Saddam 2

Defeating Iraq would mean America shouldering all the responsibilities of an occupying power-and doing it for years. How do the experts, military and civilian, think it will work out?

By James Fallows   November 2002

I have recently interviewed several dozen people about what could be expected in Iraq after the US dislodges Saddam Hussein. I talked to spies, Arabists, oil company officials, diplomats, scholars, policy experts and many active and retired soldiers. They were from the US, Europe and the middle east. Some firmly supported a pre-emptive war against Iraq; more were opposed.

I began my research with the view that forcing “regime change” on Iraq was our era’s grim historical necessity: starting a war would be bad, but waiting to have war brought to us would be worse. This view depended to some…

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