The Lost Decade

November 3, 2011

by Angelo M. Codevilla

(Editor’s Note: This article is a brilliant analysis of the last ten years since September 11, 1001. It is long and very detailed. That is why we are providing you with a link to the Claremont Institute’s website, where the article is published. But first, here are some excerpts from the piece:)

“An honest assessment of America’s problem would have led the Bush team to ask: why, given how we have behaved, should any Muslim government take the trouble of restraining anyone inclined to do us harm? The local regimes know far better than we who among their subjects is inclined to do us harm. Their schools and media are anti-American because the regimes make them so. Why not change course and hold them fully responsible for any harm that comes to us from their subjects, no matter how indirectly?”

“Setting objectives other than the ones that rid you of your problems is the biggest mistake anyone can make in war.”

“Why suppose that the armed bands roaming Iraq and Afghanistan are anti-American terrorists who must be fought in their countries lest they come and strike America, when it was perfectly obvious that Iraqis and Afghans were fighting one another for local advantage and fighting Americans insofar as they got in their way? The answer seems to be that recognizing that the regimes and the cultures that spawn terrorists are the problem would force our leaders to acknowledge how mistaken they were in fostering those regimes, and how monumental the task of dealing with them really is.”

Here is the link: The Lost Decade

Angelo M. Codevilla is professor of international relations at Boston University and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors. His most recent book is Advice for War Presidents, published by Basic Books.