In This Review

Iraq Strategy Review: Options for U.S. Policy
Iraq Strategy Review: Options for U.S. Policy
Edited by Patrick Clawson
Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1998, 181 pp

Criticizing American policy toward Saddam Hussein is a favorite sport both inside Washington and out, but rarely do the critics engage in sophisticated analysis or suggest a viable alternative. This collection of essays starts from the recognition that every way of handling Saddam has drawbacks and then dissects five different approaches to the problem. Three of these -- broad containment, narrow containment, and deterrence -- accept the continued existence of Saddam's regime and try to minimize the trouble it causes beyond its borders. The other two options involve ousting Saddam, either directly through force or indirectly through the Iraqi opposition. The result is a model of intelligent policy analysis that helps the reader understand why policymakers continue to agonize over the choices available -- and why they have tried so hard to extend the life of the existing policy as long as possible.