The neocon camp is demanding that the exit from Iraq be delayed indefinitely if the sectarian melt-down that could be looming seems imminent:

All we can know for sure is that the presence of U.S. troops provides a vital stabilizing element that prevents Iraq from going off the rails entirely. That is why it is so important that the Obama administration continue to show flexibility in its troop drawdown and not get locked into a premature exit that could jeopardize all the progress that has been made so far.

The hardest thing in Obama's presidency, in my view, could be withdrawing from Iraq as that country descends into a fresh bold piece of hell. The only silver lining is that Iraq's looming chaos could help destabilize the military junta now running Iran. Of course, I could be wrong, and everything will be peachy in the election and after. After all, we've already been told that the Iraq war has ended in victory. But it seems to me worth remembering that Iraq was constructed by the Brits precisely to facilitate sectarian tension - divide and rule - and that its borders have not changed.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.