A little-known truth about the Iraq war has much to tell us — positive and negative — about the prospects of dealing diplomatically with Syria’s chemical weapons. The inspections carried out by the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were anything but the fool’s mission pooh-poohed by the Bush administration. In fact, they were a striking international success.
The story most Americans remember is that Saddam Hussein turned out not to have nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. He had had them, all right, but U.N. inspectors had found and largely dismantled them before the war. From 1991 to 1998, the U.N.… Seguir leyendo »
Now that U.S. troops have left Iraq, Americans are taking stock of the staggering price of this nine-year war of choice, in blood (nearly 4,500 Americans dead, 33,000 wounded), in fractured relations worldwide and in monetary terms (nearly $1 trillion in direct spending; several times that when counting the fivefold increase in oil prices, the long-term cost of caring for veterans and wounded, and the replacement of weapons and equipment — a total that may top the cost of World War II).
An additional casualty is the loss of a mechanism for enforcing nonproliferation agreements, though how this might have changed the course of subsequent events — in Iran, for example — cannot be known.… Seguir leyendo »
The Post solicited opinions on what the president should say when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday. Below are contributions from Scott Keeter, Danielle Pletka, Strobe Talbott, Jessica Mathews, Ed Rogers, Randy Scheunemann, Donna Brazile and Wangari Maathai.
Hanging over President Obama’s appearance in Oslo will be reminders that a majority of the U.S. public does not think he deserves the award, as well as the irony of accepting a peace prize just days after announcing a major escalation in the Afghanistan war. But the president’s main challenge — in the speech and long afterward — will be in persuading a skeptical American public that the world needs robust leadership from the United States.… Seguir leyendo »