Like most fair-minded people, I’m a lot more optimistic than I was a year ago, and I can see the potential for it going very wrong again. But I do think that there is the prospect now, if this is deftly handled, for a soft as opposed to a hard landing to the United States in Iraq. It won’t be victory, they won’t be throwing flowers at American soldiers again, but there is now the possibility that with careful navigation, the United States could draw its troops down and bring them home, not quickly, over a period of years, and that this will prove not to have been quite the disaster that a year ago it seemed likely to be. But it could equally well turn around, and it could yet again, it could become a situation promising nothing but catastrophe for the United States.
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