December 26, 2011
At the moment, Iraq is a strange witches’ brew that could blow up—or, just possibly, turn into an elixir for the entire region.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, they’re gone: the U.S. soldiers who walked and drove, fought and bled, cursed, joked, cried, screamed, negotiated, interrogated, smoked, slept, ate, defecated, exercised, and did much else all across Iraq for the preceding 8 years, 9 months, and 12 days—ever since Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 19, 2003.
December 21, 2011
IF THERE is one iron law of American history it is that the longer US troops stay in a country, the better the chances of a successful outcome to a war. Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea: All are places where US troops still remain decades after the wars that brought them there. It is no coincidence that they are also democratic and prosperous. Compare this with the hellish outcome in places like Somalia and Haiti, where US troops entered and then left.
December 17, 2011
We asked 50 of our friends to tell us what they enjoyed reading in 2011—from Mike Allen's taste for Tebow-ing to Adam Zagajewski's love of Scottish poetry.
To research a history of guerrilla warfare, I read a lot of memoirs. Two of the best were by Brits who served in wartime Yugoslavia.
December 16, 2011
The year started with seemingly glorious news from Egypt: tens of thousands of people rallying in Tahrir Square to demand the end of dictatorship and the advent of representative government. It is ending on a grim note with the Muslim Brotherhood winning 47 percent of the vote in the first round of parliamentary elections and even more hard-line Salafists winning another 21 percent. The second round of voting, which ended Thursday, is expected to confirm those results. Egyptian liberals now fear, as two of them wrote recently in Tablet magazine, that their country might “collapse into Islamist totalitarianism, or, even worse, total chaos.”
December 15, 2011
CFR.org Expert Roundup with Andrew Bacevich, Max Boot, Michael Ignatieff, and Michael O'Hanlon
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations:
Critics will claim that no gains could be worth the price we paid -- over 4,400 lost lives and untold hundreds of billions of dollars. But we paid a far higher price in the Korean War (36,000 dead). Few would have thought in 1953 that this war, which ended with a deadlocked and ravaged peninsula, was a raging success. The outcome looks considerably better nearly six decades later, now that South Korea has become one of the most prosperous and freest countries in the world.
December 1, 2011
In retrospect, weakness in the face of aggression is almost impossible to understand — or forgive. Why did the West do so little while the Nazis gathered strength in the 1930s? While the Soviet Union enslaved half of Europe and fomented revolution in China in the late 1940s? And, again, while Al Qaeda gathered strength in the 1990s? Those questions will forever haunt the reputations of the responsible statesmen, from Neville Chamberlain to Bill Clinton.