American Defense Policy After Twenty Years of War

Author: Webb, Jim

The American scorecard for foreign policy achievements over the past twenty years is, frankly, pretty dismal. And without talking our way all around the globe, it’s clear that the most dismal score goes to the stupidest mistakes. We fought one war that we never should have fought and another war whose objectives grew so out of control that no amount of battlefield proficiency could overcome the naïve mission creep of the political and military leadership at the top that was defining what our troops were supposed to do. So, let me start with a couple of quotes from two pieces I wrote, one at the beginning of this twenty-year period and the other at the end.  

On September 4, 2002, five months before the Bush administration ordered the invasion of Iraq, I wrote the following as part of a larger editorial for the Washington Post, warning that an invasion would be a strategic blunder...

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