There's a ton of stuff being written about the historic election in Iraq. I like this article because it looks ahead and asks, "What next?" The administration has, unfortunately, let the opposition set the terms of the debate, so we're all focused on "when the troops come home," as if that's the end of the story instead of the beginning.
There are two places above all where the United States has to stay engaged if we want to end up with a world we can stand to live in: The Mideast, home of so much of the oil that's the lifeblood of the modern economy, breeding ground of terrorism, where entrenched despots have kept democracy at bay; and Asia, where budding business empires full of entrepreneurial zeal will clean our capitalist clocks if we don't figure out how to compete with them. (I read recently that 40 percent of all the working-age people in the world live in two places, China and India. Top four economies in the world: U.S., China, India, Japan.)
You might not like how we got there, but at least we are now engaged in the Mideast, and we have to stay there. The focus should not be on how we "accomplish the mission" in Iraq but what we do after that. Why should anyone think we will leave or should? True, we're not still in Vietnam, having slunk off like whipped dogs. But we're still in South Korea. If you want to go back even further, we still have troops in Japan and Germany, too, and that war has been "over" for a long time.