Saddam, Iran, and the Stability-Instability Paradox: Can Israel's "Samson Option" Hold?

Following a post from a few months back, I was pointed in the direction of an intriguing study by Duke University’s Hal Brands and David Palkki of the National Defense University that is germane to the current debates over a potential Iranian nuclear weapons program and its implications for Israeli security (h/t Zach Novetsky).  “Saddam, Israel, and the Bomb: Nuclear Alarmism Justified?”, published last summer in International Security, is the result of countless hours pouring over documents captured after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The implications of Brands and Palkki’s findings for Israeli security are alarming but . . .
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Mission Accomplished in Iraq? Then Let’s Go Home

Today, the Wall Street Journal editorializes on Iraq as the model for democracy in the Middle East. And only eight years after President Bush’s infamous declaration, they have announced “mission accomplished.” Or at least that is how they have interpreted put words in the mouth of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s latest comments on Iraq and the presence of U.S. troops.

Gates and the Journal arguing for a continued presence of U.S troops in Iraq is nothing new. The new developments come in the assertions that Iraq is now the model for democracy in the Middle East; the United States . . .
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Bin Laden: Of Strategy and Success

Updated Below

As the euphoria about the successful Special Forces operation that killed the world’s number one terrorist subsides, it is important to start putting this event in its proper context.  There may be a temptation to view the strategic failures that preceded this monumental moment as, at best, negligible and, at worst, validated in hindsight.  This would be a mistake.  Strategy is about matching means to ends, and, while this is an end that should certainly be welcomed by all, the means employed prior to this single operation have hardly been proportional to what was needed.

One popular . . .
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America’s Iraq ADD

Max Boot thinks there is a possibility the United States may “lose” Iraq in the near future, and the blame for this failure comes from the current lack of attention paid to it by American policymakers:

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In a way, Iraq has been a victim of its own success. Because it seems to be doing relatively well, policymakers have shifted their attention to more urgent concerns. But there is a danger that our present inattention could undo the progress that so many have struggled so hard to attain.

Iraq has made impressive gains since 2006, when . . .
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