A disenchanted government insider’s take on the planning that did go on for postwar Iraq that the Bush administration willfully ignored.
According to conventional wisdom, Iraq has suffered because the Bush administration had no plan for reconstruction. That’s not the case; the State Department’s Future of Iraq group planned out the situation carefully and extensively, and Middle East expert David Phillips was part of this group. White House ideologues and imprudent Pentagon officials decided simply to ignore those plans. The administration only listened to what it wanted to hear.
Losing Iraq doesn’t just criticize the policies of unilateralism, preemption, and possible deception that launched the war; it documents the process of returning sovereignty to an occupied Iraq. Unique, as well, are Phillips’s personal accounts of dissension within the administration.
The problems encountered in Iraq are troubling not only in themselves but also because they bode ill for other nation-building efforts in which the United States may become mired through this administration’s doctrine of unilateral, preemptive war. Losing Iraq looks into the future of America’s foreign policy with a clear-eyed critique of the problems that loom ahead.
David L. Phillips is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and an analyst for NBC News. He has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He lives in New York City.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »
The Winter 2017 issue of CFR's member newsletter, the Chronicle, is a guide to CFR's most important news since November 2016, and includes announcements about new programs, partnerships, fellows, meetings, publications, and members. Read it now.
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More