James Joyner also believes
that Iraq is not truly in a civil war, as I argued
below. Much of this debate may seem rather pedantic, clutching at definitions, but it matters for U.S. policy. If you think the worst-case civil war scenario is what we're already seeing, then it may make sense for the U.S. to withdraw. But if you think—as I do—that the real worst case scenario is a civil war in which the worst elements of the Sunni insurgency could actually take over the country, then you sort of have to think twice about the whole thing.