Containing a Civil War in Iraq

Download Audio

No one now argues that the war in Iraq has gone well. Far from it. Even the president's comments are peppered with warnings of failure and nightmare scenario.

But the show-stopper in Washington is what to do... What to do about the worst of scenarios - that now looks all too possible, even near: an Iraqi descent into all-out civil war, with raging spillover threatening the entire region with its giant powder keg of Sunni-Shia tension, Israel, and a huge portion of the oil that powers the world.

The record of history on stopping or containing civil wars is bleak. But the stakes are too high not to try, at least, to staunch the spillover.

This hour On Point: containing catastrophy in Iraq.


Noam Levey, Congressional correspondent for the Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Pollack, director of research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he is also a Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy Studies.

Barry Posen, Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is also a professor of political science.

This program aired on January 31, 2007.


More from On Point

Listen Live