Will the cost of war in Iraq saddle the US with political
and economic crises for many years to come? [AFP]
The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 has changed the dynamics and balance of power in the Middle East.

How will history judge the American venture in Iraq?

Some political observers argue that a major casualty of the war has been the idea of the United States as a shining example of democracy and freedom.

They say that the invasion and occupation of Iraq shows the US as a new colonial power and that this perception will take years to erase.

Has the political landscape of the Middle East been permanently redefined by the US actions in Iraq? And what role will the US continue to play?

Some analysts believe the costs of war in Iraq will saddle the US with political and economic crises for many years to come, and put the country in a considerably weaker position.

Others feel the US influence over global politics and security has been bolstered and that the occupation will ensure this influence continues to dominate. Who are the real winners? 

This week, Inside Iraq looks at the future and asks if there are parallel lessons from history that could be drawn from the US invasion of Iraq.

Our guests this week are:

Richard Bulliet from Columbia University, Martin Van Creveld from Hebrew University and Alastair Campbell, director of Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (Qatar).

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Iraq on Youtube 

Watch part two of this episode of Inside Iraq on Youtube

This episode of Inside Iraq aired on Friday, January 25, 2008

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Source: Al Jazeera