Tag Archives: Iraq

Iraq: Would we choose war again?

By Graham Allison If we had known then what we know now, would we choose war again? In the real world, foreign policy-making often requires hard choices, sometimes between bad and worse.  After the fact, even the most objective analysts … Continue reading >

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After pullout, U.S preferences in Iraq have become hopes

By Monica Duffy Toft President Obama and his Secretary of Defense have declared the war in Iraq to be “over.” An end to the war is a good thing no doubt, but beyond that, what should we expect and why? … Continue reading >

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Gadhafi’s End: Libya’s Beginning?

By Monica Duffy Toft It has been a long time since bitter enemies were able to imagine each other as truly human; as the servants of narrow or other interests rather than as pathologically homicidal “wolves,” unworthy of quarter. But … Continue reading >

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Gadhafi’s death: A message to Arab youth, and old dictators

By Ashraf Hegazy Executive Director, Dubai Initiative, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs The death of Muammar Gadhafi, as well as that of his son and his closest advisor, in addition to the fall of Sirte, allows the Transitional … Continue reading >

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Counting the costs of the response to 9/11

The Power Problem: Part of a series of views on lessons learned in the exercise of American power in the decade since 9/11. By David E. Sanger Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times; Senior Fellow, National Security and the … Continue reading >

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The Economic Fallout from 9/11

The Power Problem: Second in a series of views on lessons learned in the exercise of American power in the decade since 9/11. By Linda J. Bilmes The US response to 9/11 has been a major contributor to America’s current … Continue reading >

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Lessons learned since 9/11: Narratives matter

Was 9/11 a turning point in world history? It is too soon to be tell. After all, the lessons of World War I looked very different in 1939 than they did a mere decade after 1918.

As I argue in The Future of Power, one of the great powers shifts of this century is the increased empowerment of non-state actors, and 9/11 was a dramatic illustration of this long term trend. In 2001 an attack by non-state actors killed more Americans than a government attack did at Pearl Harbor in 1941. But this “privatization of war” was occurring before 9/11 and some American government reports in the 1990s even warned it was coming.

The long-term effect of 9/11 depends on how the United States reacts and the lessons it has learned. In the short term of the past decade, the US has learned to take the new threat seriously and has improved its security procedures and been able to prevent a recurrence of 9/11. All that is to the good.

World Trade Center memorial lights (Photo by John Franco)
World Trade Center memorial lights (Photo by John Franco)

But there is a larger question about terrorism. Continue reading >

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AGE OF HEROES – IN MEMORIAM

By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen Belfer Center Senior Fellow I recently saw a great flick entitled “Age of Heroes.” It is about the early days of the British SAS in World War II. A team of 8 commandos was airlifted covertly into … Continue reading >

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Eight lessons for Obama from Iraq and Afghanistan

Last week, President Obama made a compelling case for why he authorized force in Libya.  In doing so, he sought to assure the American people that this intervention was prudent and bore no resemblance to the controversial and costly wars … Continue reading >

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Good reading in International Security journal

By Diane J. McCree Managing Editor, International Security In the lead article of the 2010/11 winter issue of International Security, America’s premier journal on security issues, David Lake examines explanations for the outbreak of the 2003 Iraq War, one of … Continue reading >

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