Escaping the Trap: The Case for Withdrawal from Iraq

Policy Forum
March 14, 2007 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring: Lt. Gen. William Odom, USA (Ret.), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Director, National Security Agency, 1985-1988; Steven Simon, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; and Ted Galen Carpenter, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

Even in the face of growing public and congressional sentiment for a change in policy, President Bush remains committed to victory in Iraq, and his plans call for increasing the U.S. troop presence in that country by more than 21,000 Army and Marine Corps personnel. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group called for engagement with Iraq’s neighbors, but the president has resisted direct talks with Iran and Syria. Advocates of withdrawal declare that the costs of staying the course far exceed the benefits; opponents claim that withdrawal will deliver Iraq to al-Qaeda terrorists who will then use the country as a base of operations from which to conduct attacks against Americans. There seem to be no good options. Can the United States minimize the damage to its interests by beginning an expeditious military withdrawal? Does a regional strategy hold promise for containing or even reducing the violence in Iraq? What effect will public and congressional pressure have on the conduct of military operations in Iraq?

Please join our distinguished panel of experts as they explore these and other questions during this timely event.