Peter W. Galbraith, the first U.S. ambassador to Croatia, is the Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. As a staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1980s, he uncovered and documented Saddam Hussein's “al-Anfal” campaign against Iraq's Kurds.
There is nothing about the present U.S. strategy in Iraq -- if indeed the Bush administration's ever-shifting plans can be called a strategy -- that suggests more of it will work. On January 31, national elections are scheduled in Iraq. Except when viewed through George W. Bush's perpetually rosy lenses, these elections seem likely to trigger an explosion of violence in large parts of the country. Successful elections may be even worse than thwarted ones. Voting could set the stage for civil war among Iraq's ethnic and confessional communities, which hold diametrically opposed ideas about the future of the country.