UnrealistsIssue: Summer 2006
HAVING AN honest and serious foreign policy debate is not an easy thing in contemporary American political culture. Television sound bites, bumper-sticker cliches passing for ideas, single-issue interest groups and highly partisan politics all work against a thoughtful evaluation of realistic U.S. options. Yet even for the sole superpower, acting in a state of delusion is not a prescription for a successful foreign policy.
Take Iraq. It should be apparent by now that the United States went into Iraq without a serious foreign policy debate. There was little critical examination of intelligence justifying the war, what the war was supposed to accomplish, or what postwar planning would be required. How did this happen?