The Realist Prism: Ten Years Later, Iraq War Assumptions Still Unexamined

By Nikolas Gvosdev, on , Column

We are rapidly approaching the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. For some politicians, their initial stance on the war is something they might prefer to overlook. It will be interesting to see, for instance, if, during their nomination hearings, either Secretary of State-designate John Kerry or Secretary of Defense-designate Chuck Hagel is asked whether they still stand by their yea vote in October 2002 to give President George W. Bush the authorization to pursue military action against Saddam Hussein.

For others, the inevitable retrospectives will fall into one of several predictable categories. Some will attempt to backdate their opposition to the war or insist that they knew all along it would be a failed venture, while others, like Kerry in 2004, will argue that the war they supported was not the one conducted by the Bush administration. The unfortunate end result is that an in-depth examination of the foundational strategic assumptions that helped to make the case for war is not likely to occur, particularly in Washington’s current hyperpartisan atmosphere. ...

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