Whatever happens this year, the question of Iraq is going to intensify. 13 men and 1 woman will debate the numerous plans for continuing or ending our latest foreign adventure. It isn't just an isolated civil war between sectarian factions with a long history of mutual animosity. There are sharp philosophical divisions between candidates and their parties concerning whether the war is the central front in the larger war on terrorism.
The war's growing unpopularity among many Americans, coupled with nightly images of civilian and soldier casualties, will only add to the candidates' need to craft a plan to win the war. They are divided between supporting the president's strategy to surge more troops into central Iraq versus establishing a timetable, complete with benchmarks, to eventually pull out. But as Machiavelli once wrote:
Wars begin when you will,
but they do not end when you please...