Okay, so the subject sort of lies…I’m really more curious about the United States’ previous success in these sorts of endeavours. What sort of history does the US have in toppling foreign powers and instating new leaders? I know it hasn’t had much luck, but I’m looking for specific examples.
Google will help you fill in the blanks on the following: Allende was overthrown by a US supported coup in Chile. Sukarno’s ouster in Indonesia was assisted by US intelligence. And, quite recently, Noriega was extracted (literally) from power in Panama. Of course, with the last of these examples the US didn’t have a hand in installing the successor as it did in the first two.
I guess I should clarify - when has a leader or government that we helped instate gone seriously awry?
Well, we installed Ngo Dinh Diem as the president of South Vietnam in ~1956, and then had him assassinated after a coup 63.
The whole Vietnam thing didn’t work out too well for us.
Germany, Japan, and South Korea were all successfully shepherded into being prosperous, democratic states.
The current plan for a post-Saddam Iraq is very similar to the Japanese occupation plan. Initial rule by a military governor (Tommy Franks), followed by a provisional government headed by an “American of stature” - an ex-governor, secretary of state, etc. James Baker would be a good choice. This period is expected to last 2-5 years, during which Iraq will set up an advisory body and start electing senates or other governmental organizations. Eventually, there will be elections to select a leader from the elected cabinets or Senate.
After that period, control of the country would be handed back to the Iraqis, although I imaging a large American military presence for many more years, both to stabilize the peace and to discourage any strongmen from thinking of taking over in a coup or whatever. The U.S. has been in South Korea, Japan, and Germany for over 50 years now, so we’re not talking about a short period of time.