Kissinger Outlines Endgame for Iraq—Without Deadlines

Foes may lie low to re-emerge, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2008 3:18 PM CDT
Henry Kissinger on the phone to Brent Scowcroft, April 29, 1975. The 'Realpolitik' strategist has warned that setting a fixed deadline for withdrawal from Iraq could be a dangerous move.   ((c) pingnews.com)
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(Newser) – Henry Kissinger outlines his vision for the endgame in Iraq in a piece in the Washington Post, arguing that recent progress makes redeployment of US troops feasible, but "establishing a deadline is the surest way to undermine the hopeful prospects." A fixed deadline would encourage both al-Qaeda and Iran to plan a resurgence, writes the former secretary of state, and it would undermine the necessary diplomacy, which he sees including a regional peace conference.

Barack Obama is moving toward a position in which withdrawal would be based on conditions, "but if that is the case, why establish a deadline at all?" Kissinger asks. "The American presence in Iraq should not be presented as open-ended," he writes, which is why Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki welcomed Obama's talk of withdrawal last week, "but neither should it be put forward in terms of rigid deadlines. Withdrawal is a means; the end is a more peaceful and hopeful world." (Read more Henry Kissinger stories.)