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Argument: Regional powers in Iraq not equipped for war

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Supporting quotations

Barry R. Posen. "The risks of staying vs. leaving Iraq". Boston Globe. April 19, 2007 - "The worst case. The civil war escalates; outsiders back their friends; their friends begin to lose, so the war escalates to become a regional conflagration. Could happen, but one should not exaggerate the military capabilities of any of the local players. They are all heavily armed, but conventional warfare is not the strong suit of any of the regional actors, with perhaps the exception of Turkey. The Saudi forces, though equipped with modern weapons, are almost surely helpless without help from western contractors. Iran's air forces are obsolete and highly vulnerable to American air attack. Moreover, Saudi Arabia and Iran are one-crop countries; each depends on oil facilities that are vulnerable to attack by the other. A kind of Mutual Assured Destruction should deter both from risking general war."

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