Was the Gaza Disengagement Worth It?

No, writes Shmuel Even. Ten years after Israel evacuated troops and civilians from Gaza, the area remains a source of terror attacks, and Israel continues to be condemned for defending itself (article begins on p. 75):

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip created a new reality that contributed to the Hamas takeover, a steep rise in weapons smuggling, the strengthening of terrorism, and the ensuing cycle of escalation. [T]he terrorism in the West Bank (and from there to Israel) can serve as a partial standard for comparison, [since no disengagement took place there]. The West Bank saw a steep drop in the number of terrorist attacks and Israeli casualties, following the security measures taken [there] and the end of the intifada. . . . [By contrast], the force of terrorism from Gaza and [Israeli involvement in] military operations intensified.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza withdrawal, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy