It seems Iraq is costing the US more than it seems to have bargained for (BBC News Article). If you start it with no friends, then you have no friends to call on to help you.
The billions required to 'rebuild' Iraq seem staggering to me. First up, is it "rebuilding" or just "building"? I mean, was all this stuff there before? I suspect not. So, we probably need to get our terminology right, or else we might be misleading people.
The US is apparently spending a billion dollars a week running it's show in Iraq. That alone is surely unsustainable. There's no way the US can afford that sort of spend for another 6 months, let alone any more elaborate ideas. My guess is the scaling down will happen as soon as it possibly can, just to cut the monthly cost of the "project".
Then you come ot the other costs involved - clean water, electricity, etc etc. The numbers of billions required just cannot be raised by the US, despite it's much touted "biggest economy in the world". They have to get help from elsewhere. Of course, "Country-in-your-pocket", Britain will help out. But, we can't possibly provide the necessary readies either. So, it falls to the rest of the world. But, you have to wonder, who will front up and stump up the cash? Given the opposition to the "project" in the first place, one could well expect that such help will not be as generous or swift as it might otherwise have been if the rest of the world had been sold into the plan in the first place.
Even if 10 countries come forward, they're not going to help as much as the US could do - as we keep hearing, no other economy is as big. So, it will ultimately fall to the US to make the biggest contributions.
Then you have the US ecomony. Whilst the biggest, soon to be the biggest in debt too - half a trillion dollars in debt? That's just staggering. How long will it go on for? How long will people have the faith that the US can repay? After all, as soon as that faith goes, so does the debt.
I watch with interest... (as my "death of empires" theory firms up in my mind)