With Iraq descending into the depths of civil war, we are starting to see calls for the troops to be pulled out.
I'm sympathetic to the families of troops stationed in Iraq. It's not like the individual trooper started the quagmire that they find themselves in the midst of. No, the responsibility for that lies squarely in the hands of their political leaders - George W. Bush and Co.
At this point in time, it's unclear to me what, if anything, the Americans can do successfully to settle Iraq down. However, given that it was American forces that brought down the regime of Saddam Hussein and opened the door to the current situation, it seems quite rational - possibly even logical - to assert that the US now has a moral obligation to assist the Iraqis in restoring some form of orderly peace.
The obviously sectarian nature of the violence suggests to me that the political notion of a unified Iraq may be impractical, and the interests of the people may well be better served by some kind of "union of autonomous regions" for a time.
Either way, US troops are unlikely to be coming home anytime soon - no matter what the political mood in Washington may be.