March 20, 2013

Ten years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. These two stories by James Fallows are essential to understanding the consequences of that decision.

The Fifty-First State? (Nov. 2002): Months before the invasion began, Fallows warned of the difficult responsibilities America would face as an occupying power. Was the U.S. prepared for a long-term relationship?

Bush’s Lost Year (Oct. 2004): “As a political matter, whether the United States is now safer or more vulnerable is of course ferociously controversial. That the war was necessary—and beneficial—is the Bush Administration’s central claim. That it was not is the central claim of its critics. But among national-security professionals there is surprisingly little controversy. Except for those in government and in the opinion industries whose job it is to defend the Administration’s record, they tend to see America’s response to 9/11 as a catastrophe.”

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