Occupational Hazards

Many Americans, including some of senior rank, appear to hold candy-coated views of the post-World War II U.S. occupations of Germany and Japan. Dealing with Iraq will be hard enough without enshrouding ourselves in myth.

Issue: Summer 2003

Now that Iraq is Saddamfrei, that shattered country is to benefit from a Bush Admin-istration reconstruction program that the New York Times called in mid-April "the most ambitious American effort to administer a country since the occupations of Japan and Germany at the end of World War II." This laudable objective became obscured in the first five weeks after the end of major fighting, when disagreements erupted in high places over the aims and timetables of U.S. policy in Iraq. The public watched a U.S. team stumble into the Mesopotamian huddle without a playbook.

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