By far the most alarming thing yet said by the Obama administration was secretary of state Clinton's assurance that

We are committed to seeing an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant, and fully integrated into the region.

That means the risk of being committed to an unending occupation - what Johnson did to Nixon. And sure enough, we see backsliding on withdrawal only three months into the Obama administration:

“Mosul is the one area where you may see U.S. combat forces operating in the city” after June 30, the United States military’s top spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. David Perkins, said in an interview.

In Baghdad, however, there are no plans to close the Camp Victory base complex, consisting of five bases housing more than 20,000 soldiers, many of them combat troops. Although Victory is only a 15 minute drive from the center of Baghdad and sprawls over both sides of the city’s boundary, Iraqi officials say they have agreed to consider it outside the city.

In addition, Forward Operating Base Falcon, which can hold 5,000 combat troops, will also remain after June 30. It is just within Baghdad’s southern city limits.

It seems perfectly clear to me that the current Iraqi government will not be able to resist waging war on the Sunnis and vice-versa in the absence of a constant US force. If the US really is committed to a stable, unified Iraq, then the withdrawal will not take place. Not now; not in 2011; not in Obama's first term. The logic of empire is very, very strong.

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