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Premature US Withdrawal Could Threaten Europe

European analysts believe that American withdrawal from Iraq would spell disaster. Increased refugee flows, regional instability, cross-border violence, higher oil prices, terrorism within Europe, and increased American isolationism were the main predictions noted by 14 European policy analysts. I have interviewed them for the third part of the Atlantic Community survey on Iraq.

What I found very interesting was that among all the gloomy scenarios, one analyst from IFRI in Paris suggested that the regional conflagration could benefit the West: "low-level protracted warfare between the Saudis (also Al Qaida) and the Iranians through local proxies would tie them and wear them down, perhaps to the point where most of their respective energies would be focused on Iraq."

Another analysts cut a long story short: "With a weakened United States, geopolitical vacations for Europe should be over."

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Elisabeth Bathory on :

Iran would more than likely co-operate with the extremist Shia groups. They have shown a certain doctrinal flexibility when it suits them. Iran still harbours many top-level Al-Q operatives from Tora Bora and allowed them to plan the terrorist campaign in Saudi Arabia in 2004. Id say Lebanon would be the first casualty of an American withdrawal. Al-Q, Iran and Saudi Arabia all have disparate reasons for disliking the State and it is fulcrum of the present balance of power in the Middle East. Hizb'Allah and the revolutionary guards against the Saudi and Israeli-backed Maronities and Druze with air support from the Israeli air force.

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