Mismanaging Iraq

When politics and policy collided in Iraq, too often politics won.

Issue: Winter 2004-2005

How can we best understand developments in Iraq? The pictureemerging from journalistic and official reports suggests thatsenior-level civilians in the White House and Pentagon were guidedby a mix of ideology and the desire to have their decision to go towar validated. This repeatedly led them to underestimate the risksand challenges posed by the occupation. They hoped Iraq mightrapidly become a clean slate on which to construct a new MiddleEastern society. By most accounts, the prospect of an ongoinginsurgency scarcely appeared in their scenarios.

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