Democratization in Iraq and Afghanistan
1. Impact of CompleteAmerican Withdrawal
(a) The lastAmerican combat troops left Iraq in 2011 in total secrecy for security reasons. The
secrecy of their departure is telling of the state in which those combat troops left the
country. In the months that were to follow, death tolls rose to the highest they had been in
years since the occupancy began due to increasing attacks across the nation (Arango). The
security concerns for Iraq's future have a solid base in reality.
i. The largestAmerican embassy in the world is located in Iraq – with the departure of
American troops, it doubled in size (Arango). Insurgents in Iraq, upon realizing that
there are no moreAmerican troops to fight against and strengthen their cause, could turn
to theAmerican embassy as both a target and a rallying point.
ii. However, statistics as of late have shown that the over 700,000 strong Iraqi police force
has been relatively effective in containing these concerns (MacKenzie). The initial surge
in civilian deaths sinceAmerican withdrawal has gradually gone down. The death toll,
while it has not been lowered, has been kept steady which might suggest that the police
forces in Iraq, trained by American troops, are managing to keep the country stable.
iii.If these forces are to be sustainably effective, however, the government will need to be
efficient and relatively free of corruption in order to lower violence levels in the country
iv. Conclusion: The initial surge in civilian deaths due to terrorist attacks in Iraq after
American withdrawal seems to have been an anomaly. Since then, Iraqi police forces
have gained legitimacy and strength and have been able to give Iraq a sense of stability.
If this stability is to be permanent, the efforts of these police forces must be backed by a
legitimate democratic government. The future of democracy in Iraq could depend on the
governments effectiveness in continuing the fight against insurgency.
(b) The full withdrawal of American troops fromAfghanistan has been tentatively set for 2014.
This date, however, is likely to change if the United States continues to see a lack of
progress in Afghanistan towards what it might consider to be a legitimate democracy.Afull
American withdrawal could leave the country vulnerable to falling back into pre-occupancy