Angelo M. Codevilla (Senior Fellow, Claremont Institute)
In the current issue of the Claremont Review of Books, Dr. Angelo Codevilla brings to his provocative essay on U. S. statecraft and the war in Iraq the experience of more than three decades of studying, writing about, and contributing to U. S. national security policy. A former naval officer, U. S. Foreign Service officer, and Senate staffer, and currently a professor of international relations at Boston University, Codevilla is scathing in his criticism of what he calls the "unnecessary" American occupation of Iraq.
Codevilla claims that, originally, there was to be no U. S. military occupation of Iraq. Instead, with Saddam Hussein overthrown and his army defeated, an American-selected Iraqi provisional government would take the reins of power. Iraqis, he writes, would then "sort out their own bloody quarrels." Prodded by foreign policy realists (not the much maligned neo-conservatives), our British allies, UN bureaucrats, and the Middle East's so-called moderate Arab governments, the Bush administration ultimately decided to occupy Iraq militarily with the goal of transforming the country and the entire region into peaceful, liberal democracies.
The U. S. failure in Iraq, according to Codevilla, stems from...