You will hear, over and over, that Iraq is the center for the war on terror. I would call this the "roach-motel" theory. The idea is, we'll put down our billion dollar roach motel - the bait is American soldiers. This draws out the terrorists who will then get stuck in the hotel and perish.
There are a few major problems with this:
1) When the terrorists are blowing up our soldiers, they are not really fulfilling their real mission, which is to terrorize us here, on our own territory. In fact, the line gets blurred between terrorism and tactics when they are killing soldiers.
2) Unlike the roach motel, the longer our hotel stays the more roaches it breeds. And then, when you pull the hotel out -- you will have many more terrorists who will be able to attack us in our own houses.
In other words, by the time we pull out -- and we will pull out for political reasons -- you will have created more terrorists than existed before the occupation -- and they will scatter and look for targets that can create true terror -- and that means soft targets over here, or at the very least in Europe.
So, in short, this policy has been a failure. The idea that we alone were powerful enough to Americanize Iraq was just wrong. This is evident from the fact that the President, who disparaged the U.N. is now going back there to try and internationalize this business.
The big question is, what is the incentive for those countries that were shunned by us, to join in this process? I can only think of one powerful incentive: oil money. How this will be accomplished, I don't know -- but unless France and Germany et. al. are allowed to "wet their beak" I don't see how going to the U.N. now is going to do anything.