Robert Wright has a good article in Slate about dubious and valid fears about the Iraq war and its consequences.
Dubious fear No. 1: The war will be long and messy.
Valid fear No. 1: The postwar occupation will be very long and increasingly messy.
Dubious fear No. 2: The war will unleash a wave of terrorism in America.
Valid fear No. 2: The war will unleash time-release terrorism.
Dubious fear No. 3: The “Arab street” will boil over, overthrowing friendly regimes.
Valid fear No. 3: The aforementioned length of the Iraqi occupation will give the “Arab street” an ongoing energy boost.
Dubious fear No. 4: Saddam Hussein, with his back against the wall, will pull out his weapons of mass destruction, possibly prompting the use of nukes by Israel or the United States.
Valid fear No. 4: This war will make the future use of nukes more likely.
I think we have seen a lot of exaggeration on both the pro- and anti-war sides in the debate about this war. Regarding the dubious fear No.3 above, I wrote earlier that the claims of the antiwar folk that the Pakistani government could fall with an Islamist government replacing it are just not true in light of historical experience. Also, I think in the short term the Iraq war will go well. It is the long term (the occupation and the reconstruction) that I am worried about.