How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity
"Brendan O'Leary asks all Americans, whether they supported or opposed the Iraq war, to think very carefully about getting out. His tough-minded argument for withdrawal and his sober and wise design for an honorable exit deserve our closest attention."—Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
"Brendan O'Leary argues that, amid all the chaos, bloodshed, and mismanagement, the outstanding achievement of post-Saddam Iraq is the 2005 constitution. Hammered out between Iraqis without dictation by the Americans, it represents the only basis for an honorable American withdrawal—as long as the United States, Iraq's neighbors, and Iraqis themselves respect it and treat it as the indispensable template for a stable future, which Professor O'Leary convincingly argues that it is. This passionate and perceptive book should be required reading for the new Administration."—Martin Woollacott, Foreign Correspondent, The Guardian
"There is no reason why America's withdrawal from Iraq should be as dishonest as its intervention has been judged to be."—Brendan O'Leary, from the Preface
Both the American people and Arab Iraqis have voiced their overwhelming desire to see U.S. troops removed from the country. How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity argues that the U.S. military intervention in Iraq must come to an end. But it must come to an end in a judicious, pragmatic, and orderly fashion. In this book, Brendan O'Leary spells out why that withdrawal can begin to occur now, why it is in the best interests of the United States and the Iraqis that withdrawal occur, and why Iraq can function as a federation once the U.S. military has left the country.
How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity provides an in-depth analysis of the new Iraqi constitution, an evaluation of the political goals and powers of the major ethnic and religious groups that will constitute the new Iraqi state, and an assessment of the regional realities of a Saddam-less Iraq. With a viable constitution and other institutional structures already in place, Iraq is poised for a future as a sovereign state. If U.S. leaders facilitate the remaking of Iraq as a federation with four or more regions instead of a recentralized state, the United States can begin successfully to remove its forces.
Propelled by this incisive and bold argument, How to Get Out of Iraq with Integrity provides the foundation for the incoming presidential administration to do just that, without betraying U.S. commitments to Arabs, Kurds, or democracy. To make his case, O'Leary draws on his extensive background as constitutional advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government, the European Union, and the United Nations, along with expertise in constitutional design and ethnic reconciliation in Northern Ireland and South Africa.
Brendan O'Leary is Lauder Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program in Ethnic Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written or edited fifteen books, including Terror, Insurgency, and the State: Ending Protracted Conflicts and The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq, both also available from University of Pennsylvania Press.