Rethinking the Exit Strategy

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One year ago this weekend, President Bush stood in front of a banner reading “Mission Accomplished” and announced the end of hostilities in Iraq. Now with the death toll of American troops numbering around 700, and the number of Iraqi casualties in the thousands, people are starting to ask if the United States should actually stay the course in Iraq.

Anger at American troops is at a fever pitch, fueled by the violence in Fallujah and the horrifying photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured at the hands of their American captors. Opinion polls now show that a solid majority of Iraqis support the withdrawal of American troops, despite earlier fears that such a move would plunge them into civil war. Is it cutting and running, or is it time for an honorable exit?


Retired General William E. Odom, director of National Security Studies at the Hudson Institute

Jon Lee Anderson, senior writer at the New Yorker

Emad Saleh, President of the Mansour Neighborhood Council in Bagdad

Ahmed al-Rahim, professor of Arabic at
Harvard University