Strategic Effects of Conflict with Iraq: Post-Soviet States

  • March 01, 2003
  • Dr Stephen J Blank

The author has been asked to analyze four issues: the position that key states in their region are taking on U.S. military action against Iraq; the role of America in the region after the war with Iraq; the nature of security partnerships in the region after the war with Iraq; and the effect that war with Iraq will have on the war on terrorism in the region. Conclusions reached are: Ashort war with rapid decisive victory minimizes future risks connected with Iraq to our force stationed in the former Soviet Union. However, it does not eliminate existing threats or allow for reduction in force unless we prosecute the war in Afghanistan much more intensively and accelerate the rebuilding of that state. No feasible scenario allows for immediate reduction of troops in the Transcaucasus or Central Asia, but many conceivable scenarios of a war gone wrong in Iraq could lead to the need to send more forces into these theaters.