It is far more reasonable, based on what we now know, to assume that if the U.S. were to leave Iraq quickly, the level of violence would be reduced, possibly drastically, not heightened. Here are the four key reasons:
1. The U.S. military is already killing more civilian Iraqis than would likely die in any threatened civil war;
2. The U.S. presence is actually aggravating terrorist (Iraqi-on-Iraqi) violence, not suppressing it;
3. Much of the current terrorist violence would be likely to subside if the U.S. left;
4. The longer the U.S. stays, the more likely that scenarios involving an authentic civil war will prove accurate.