I've always had a good feeling about Iraq sorting itself out. It was a high-probability bet, compared to Afghanistan which is a no-chance bet. So I don't think I agree with the idea that Lane is putting forward, that somehow there's a semi-magical process by which these things work out. This one will; the other one won't. The reasons have a lot to do with Iraq's natural resources, infrastructure, and access to markets. Democracy is almost natural to an environment like that; it took a lot of force to keep it down so long. Afghanistan, which has none of those advantages, will have warlords for a long time to come.
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