The Foreign Service Journal, March 2005

M A R C H 2 0 0 5 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 27 F O C U S O N I R A Q , T W O Y E A R S L A T E R R EALITY C HECK IN I RAQ his year promises to be a fateful one for Iraq. It will almost certainly bring personal tragedy to thousands of Iraqis caught up in waves of violence, economic stagnation and crippled services. Painful numbers of American military and civilian personnel will probably also be casualties, bringing new names to the State Department’s granite memorial plaques. It may also see Iraqis taking charge of their political destiny and the beginning of Iraq’s eco- nomic recovery. A passable Iraqi state may struggle to its feet. But these positive outcomes are by no means certain, and will only be attainable with great sacrifice — and with greater realism in U.S. policy. T 2005 PROMISES TO BE A FATEFUL YEAR FOR I RAQ . I NSTEAD OF BUILDING UTOPIAN SANDCASTLES , THE U.S. SHOULD EMBRACE MODEST BUT ACHIEVABLE EXPECTATIONS . B Y D AVID L. M ACK Adam Niklewicz