The debate is no longer about the need for US withdrawal, which has become indispensable, but about the way such a withdrawal would be conducted. Will it be immediate, programmed or smooth?
The first option does not seem to be the best one, since an immediate withdrawal would leave an emptiness that, in order to fill it, would require immediate efforts either from the US or Iraq. On the one hand, in view of the complex domestic situation, the leaders of the puppet government know very well that the occupation forces’ withdrawal would only take place after their fulfillment of two complementary stages. The first one involves stability and drafting of an effective political program. The second one implies setting up a military service and domestic security. Both stages seem to be, even for the worst enemies of the occupation forces, as important as the withdrawal itself.
That is the case of the “Jihadist” groups in Iraq, which oppose an immediate withdrawal by the occupation forces, especially because these groups have found, at last after Afghanistan, a better ground to wage their holy war against the “infidels”. Hence, the alternative must be a “smooth” withdrawal for the US administration which continues to refuse to come up with its final deadline for withdrawal. This attitude could be explained by the US stubbornness at not admitting being defeated by the resistance which they prefer to call “terrorist groups”, because a publicly announced defeat might have a catastrophic impact on the stability of the region. This would benefit terrorist groups, which would not take long in taking control of what is left of Iraq and its resources.
The logical thing would be a “smooth” withdrawal in parallel with the establishment of government agencies, democratically elected and representative of the different Iraqi communities which would safeguard security and stability of the country. The regional players have also a very important role to play in resolving the problem in Iraq. Thus, the neoconservatives may continue appealing, for example, for Iran’s assistance, especially when the Tehran regime seems to be willing to collaborate with the occupation forces. There is no doubt that it would allow them recover their breath after the danger had faded.
Therefore, the different Iraqi parties should not insist on a withdrawal whose conditions are not yet created. On the contrary, it is necessary to prepare favorable conditions for such a withdrawal. The international community has also been urged to assist the Iraqi population and ensure its social and economic stability that would enable it to find a way out of the problem.


انسحاب أمريكي فوري أم مجدول أم مرن .. هذا هو تحدي العراق”, by Abdelrahmen Al Rachid, Asharqalawsat, December 4, 2005.