quagmire \KWAG-myr; KWOG-\, noun:
1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.
While the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he was awarded in 1957, should have signaled the pinnacle of Camus's career, it came at a time when he was struggling in the deepening quagmire of the Algerian war.
-- Isabelle de Courtivron, "Rebel Without a Cause", New York Times, December 14, 1997
Quagmire is from quag, a dialectical variant of quake (from Old English cwacian) + mire, from Old Norse myrr, "a swamp."