In a recent comments thread, Derrida Derider asks about views on Latham’s proposal to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq. Like DD, I’ve been an advocate of the “you broke it, you own it” view, that, having invaded Iraq, the members of the Coalition had an obligation to stay and restore order. However, in the light of US plans to maintain the status of an occupying power indefinitely, I think the time has come to pull out, unless some more legitimate basis for the presence of our troops can be fashioned.
The central requirement is that the Coalition forces in Iraq (including US forces) would be answerable to some combination of an Iraqi government and the United Nations. Since I see no prospect that the US would even contemplate such a possibility, I think it’s time for our troops to leave.