Monday, August 9, 2010

CNN-Fareed Zakaria; Iraq Wasn't Worth The Cost

(Story and interview by CNN)

Editor's note: Fareed Zakaria is an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN U.S. on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET and CNN International at 2 and 10 p.m. Central European Time/5 p.m. Abu Dhabi/9 p.m. Hong Kong.

New York (CNN) -- President Obama's decision to follow through on plans to reduce the American troop level in Iraq to 50,000 and shift away from combat missions is a sign that he believes America's energy and resources can better be used elsewhere, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Obama said Tuesday the U.S. is on track with the troop withdrawal and mission change to take effect at the end of this month. The president is proceeding while Iraq's key political forces remain deadlocked over the makeup of the government.

"I think he views it as fundamentally a place where we have to reduce our profile, reduce our impact," Zakaria said, "because ultimately this was an act of hubris that needs to be reined in."

In Zakaria's view, the efforts the U.S. has put into overturning the Saddam Hussein regime and stabilizing Iraq have not been worth the cost. "In the long run, if Iraq does stabilize and becomes a workable, even a flawed democracy, then I do think that perhaps that judgment will change in the long view of history. But right now, if one were being honest, one would have to say it wasn't worth it."

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