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National Insecurity by David Rothkopf

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1. Iraq: Debacle Accomplished

To him who is in fear, everything rustles.

—SOPHOCLES

Few things so divided the first two American presidents of the twenty-­first century as did Iraq. George W. Bush bet his legacy on an invasion of that country and Barack Obama won his presidency by promising to end Bush’s war. Yet, few things so link the presidents as the way that distant land, the “cradle of civilization,” bedeviled them and their national security teams.

Bush got in too deep. Obama got out too quickly. The cost in both cases was high for the United States, for our national standing, and for the region. The story of the aftershocks of America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 is still unfolding as of the writing of this book. The country is in chaos, ...

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