From the experts, a gloomy view on Iraq

Only 3 percent say Iraq will be a "beacon" of democracy in the Middle East.


Tim Grieve
August 20, 2007 5:59PM (UTC)

It's not hard to guess what Gen. David Petraeus' report will say about the "surge" in Iraq -- especially now that we know that the White House, not Petraeus, will be writing it.

For another view, here's the Terrorism Index, a survey of more than 100 top U.S. foreign policy experts conducted by Foreign Policy and the Center for American Progress.

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Among the results:

Fifty-three percent of the experts say the "surge" is having a "negative" impact on national security. Sixty-eight percent say the United States should redeploy forces from Iraq during the next 18 months, and 20 percent favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. That's not anything like a majority. But considering that it comes from members of the foreign policy establishment, it's a high number for an idea often dismissed as radical.

The most sobering numbers in the index are also the least surprising, at least for those of us who aren't George W. Bush: Only 3 percent of the foreign policy experts believe Iraq will be a "beacon" of democracy in 10 years' time, and only 5 percent believe that al-Qaida will be weaker by then.

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Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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