13th annual Municipal Finance Conference


13th annual Municipal Finance Conference



10:30 am EST - 12:00 pm EST

Past Event

Plan B: A Containment Strategy for Iraq in Civil War

Monday, January 29, 2007

10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

With each passing day, Iraq sinks deeper into the abyss of civil war. President George W. Bush has staked everything on one last-chance effort to quell the fighting and jumpstart a process of political reconciliation and economic reconstruction. Should this last effort fail, the United States is likely to very quickly have to determine how best to handle an Iraq that will be erupting into a Bosnia- or Lebanon-like all-out civil war. The history of such wars is that they are disastrous for all parties, but the United States will have little choice but to try to stave off disaster as best it can.

To help to provide a solution to that dilemma, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution unveiled a new report, “Things Fall Apart: Containing the Spillover from an Iraqi Civil War,” by Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack. This policy paper examines the history of some dozen recent civil wars to reveal the general patterns by which such conflicts can “spill over” into neighboring states, causing further civil wars or regional conflicts. From this history, the authors propose a set of policy options that the United States could employ to try to contain the “spill over” effects of a full-scale Iraqi civil war.