The present war in Iraq began with the invasion of Iraq by United States Armed Forces in 2003. Since then there have been many bloody skirmishes and fights not only between the American forces currently stationed there and the remnants of the Iraqi forces but also among the ethnic and religious groups in the area. The recent data on the War in Iraq estimate the death count of American troops alone to be 2,815, while the civilian deaths resulting from the conflict are estimated at over 100,000. Economically, the United States has already spent $505 billion of taxpayers’ funds on the War in Iraq. The rising death toll and the economic burden that the war in Iraq has caused the United States makes it high time for it to reconsider its options and decide whether or not the War in Iraq is worth all of the lives that have been sacrificed and the dollars that have been spent.
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The best option as several critics and analysts alike have pointed out is to create an exit strategy from Iraq. As President Barack Obama has declared in his letter to the Office of the Presidential Secretary dated May 20, 2009, he recognizes that there is a need to further stay in Iraq to protect the American public. Without the accomplishment of certain goals such as the restoration of peace and order in the area and the development of key political and economic institutions, Iraq may pose a greater threat to homeland security than before. It is therefore important for the United States to be able to come up with a sound plan that is able to speed up this rehabilitation process.
With these developments, the United States has arguably already lain down the framework for any democracy to begin in Iraq. The recent sentencing of Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi courts shows that the Iraqis have taken an active role in determining themselves as a nation. The first step of any democracy is the removal of the oppressors, as with the United States when they fought for their independence. The next and most crucial step is to let the citizens of the nation decide if a democracy is indeed the best form of government for them. Democracy can never be shoved down anyone’s throat.
The exit of the United States from Iraq will not mean that the United States has failed because they already won when Saddam was successfully overthrown. The United States government must realize that its priorities are in America and not in other parts of the world. They have done enough already and it is time to send home the troops and use the war budget to helping the American economy and not using it instead to wage a costly war in the Middle East.
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