What Kind of Iraq Will the Next President Inherit?

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General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker have moved to the House side of Capitol Hill today with the same message they had for the Senate: After the surge is over, stop withdrawing troops for 45 days, and then assess what's needed; progress has been made in Iraq, but it's "fragile and reversible," and it could be jeopardized by "withdrawing too many forces too quickly." That sounded right to John McCain, but Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have different ideas. We get contrasting views on what the next president will be faced with -- like it or not. Can US objectives be met, or is it "all over?" Is the military stretched too thin to meet other contingencies? What do the candidates have to say?


Josh Rogin - a Washington Post columnist covering foreign policy and national security - @joshrogin, Barry McCaffrey - Former Commander, US Southern Command, Nile Gardiner - former Advisor to Rudy Giuliani, Lawrence Korb - Center for American Progress Action Fund - @LarryKorb, Ron Brownstein - Senior Editor, The Atlantic - @RonBrownstein, Tad Devine - Democratic Strategist, Devine Mulvey, Dan Schnur - professor at USC, UC Berkeley and Pepperdine - @danschnur

Warren Olney

Sonya Geis, Christian Bordal, Dan Konecky