Although it is difficult, in the face of the debacle that is the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, to support any continued U.S. troop presence there, the reality of the situation demands some residual force. Thus, I propose that such a force be modeled on the successful maintenance of a small military presence in Kosovo.
There are currently 1,400 American troops in Kosovo, who share their peacekeeping responsibilities with a multinational, NATO-led security force. The American troops work with other NATO units to ensure stability as Kosovo works out its political challenges; the troops patrol the country and maintain peace there. This should be the model upon which to base whatever limited troop presence we decide to keep in Iraq.
The United States, and the international community, should emphasize constructive, non-military solutions to help in the ongoing democratization of Iraq.