“I do not think we can stay in Iraq in the fashion we’re in now,” [Zbigniew] Brzezinski said. “If it cannot be changed drastically, it should be terminated.” He said it would take 500,000 troops, $500 billion and resumption of the military draft to ensure adequate security in Iraq.
The most optimistic outcome to expect, Brzezinski said, is that Iraq will become a Shiite-dominated theocracy, “not what we would normally call a democracy.”
Geoffrey Kemp, Reagan administration National Security Council director on Near East affairs, said U.S. goals on Iraq have to shrink. “Obviously we’re in trouble. The question is whether it is a lost cause,” he said. “I think we’ll clearly have a better picture on February 1st or once the elections are out of the way — or if the elections are postponed.
“There is an exit strategy that does not have to be disastrous provided that Iraq doesn’t descend into anarchy and chaos,” he said. “But what the president has to do is prepare the American people for a definition of winning that is clearly far less grandiose than the anticipated outcome when Saddam’s statue was toppled.”