Luc Debieuvre ties the end of the U.S. occupation of Iraq with the necessity of giving Iraq the freedom to pursue their own political process (snippet):
|....it is illusory to believe that any truly national political process will emerge from a situation that is marked by the presence of foreign forces. The US wants to put the insurgency down but seems to forget that it is an occupation force willing to impose through force what it thinks is good for the Iraqi people.|
It goes far beyond strategic issues such as the need to protect the electricity grid or train Iraqi officers abroad. Iraq has to rebuild while avoiding both a foreign presence and a new colonisation.
The country has no control over its present, how can it control its future? All Iraqi political forces, including, of course, the national Resistance, have to come together and agree to a truce based on a clear timetable for the departure of foreign troops. Once they have their independence, then the Iraqis are smart enough to design the new institutions.
Otherwise, war and terror will go on and the US army will spend hundreds of millions of dollars, until a clear-sighted president decides to take off the plug when it gets too expensive. Meanwhile, people will have suffered and died. What for?
Any reasonable-sounding solution to the Iraq debacle will always include the withdrawal of U.S. troops as the first step.