Thursday, April 10, 2003

The war in Iraq has been won with the apparent collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. Now the task facing the coalition is to win the peace. And that is a more difficult task. Combat fighting spills blood and yields casualties but its outcome is always clear: there's a winner and a loser. Diplomacy and politics are murkier grounds.

Now that an oppressive force has been removed, the underlying tensions and power structures of Iraqi society will be revealed. There will be a period of convalescence, where oposing forces will struggle against each other untill some kind of equilibrium is found. The tension is dynamic. In worse cases, instability could occur, resulting in the utter collapse of civil order.

Every action causes further reactions. Saddam Hussein has been toppled by the Americans and British. What reactions will it cause in this volatile region? Will it be seen as another humiliation for the Arabs? Will it embolden the West and lead to further militaristic solutions against such perceived threats in the future? Or will this really be a first step towards a roadmap for peace in the Middle-East?

The war, by all accounts had been a swift one; but winning peace itself, will most probably be a protracted affair.

No comments: