American Security Project Launches Initiative to Examine Impact of Iraq War on American Society

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The American Security Project (ASP) this week launched IRAQ: Lessons Learned, an initiative to engage American leaders from across society in a discussion about the broad impact the Iraq War has had on our nation, its people and its institutions. ASP asked some of the nation's best minds to ponder this question: "What lessons should America draw from its experience in Iraq?" Each Wednesday, beginning October 10, 2007, a new essay will be featured from a respected American leader that seeks to answer this question and provides insight from which we can all benefit.

What lessons should America draw from its experience in Iraq?

The American Security Project (ASP) this week launched "IRAQ: Lessons Learned," an initiative to engage American leaders from across society in a discussion about the broad impact the Iraq War has had on our nation, its people and its institutions.

ASP asked some of the nation's best minds to ponder this question: "What lessons should America draw from its experience in Iraq?"

Each Wednesday, beginning October 10, 2007, a new essay will be featured from a respected American leader that seeks to answer this question and provides insight from which we can all benefit.

This week, Paul R. Pillar examines how the absence of any process for vetting the decision to go to war contributed to an "ill-fated expedition" in Iraq.

"For future historians who will write subsequent drafts, the most astounding thing about this momentous initiative--launching America's first major offensive war in over a century--will be that the Bush administration took it without ever first examining systematically whether it was a good idea," writes Pillar. Read the full essay at http://www.americansecurityproject.org.

Currently a member of the faculty of Georgetown University's Security Studies Program, Dr. Pillar previously served as the top government Middle East analyst prior to the invasion of Iraq. In late 2002, Dr. Pillar authored ominous estimates outlining the dire consequences of regime change in Iraq. He describes his experiences in the Sept/Oct. issue of The National Interest and was recently profiled by The Washington Post's David Ignatius in his column, When the CIA Got It Right.

What is IRAQ: Lessons Learned?

Five years into the Iraq war, Americans are left groping for answers. Are we safer? Can America's image be repaired? What are the lasting implications for our Constitution?

Historians will spend decades examining this conflict, its causes, its conduct and its consequences, but those left to grapple with the immediate policy implications must do so without the benefit of the perspective that time can often provide.

What lessons should we draw from Iraq today so that we as a nation learn from this painful experience? IRAQ: Lessons Learned is an initiative to begin answering those questions.

The American Security Project asked some of the nation's best minds--military, policy, academic, political, business, religious, media and community--to ponder this question and provide insights from which we can all benefit.

IRAQ: Lessons Learned is neither pro-war nor anti-war; rather it is designed to engage leading figures from across American society in fresh thinking about America's experience in Iraq to help us uncover the broad impact of the war on American society, from our financial markets and university classrooms to our supermarket aisles and our courtrooms.

The American Security Project (ASP) is a non-profit, bi-partisan public policy research and education initiative dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security and foreign policy issues. It is organized around the belief that honest public discussion of national security requires an informed citizenry--one that understands the dangers and opportunities of the twenty-first century and the spectrum of available responses. ASP was formed to help Americans--from opinion leaders to the general public--understand how national security issues relate directly to them, and to explain challenges and threats in a way that spurs constructive action.

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