How War in Iraq Strengthened America's Enemies

TUE, NOV 11, 2008 (1:14:03)

Peter W. Galbraith describes the storm our next president will inherit in his latest book, Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America's Enemies. As former US ambassador to Croatia and one of Washington’s leading authorities on Iraq, Galbraith’s analysis carries much weight in DC and in the media. The Iraq war was intended to make the US more secure, bring democracy to the Middle East, intimidate Iran and Syria, help win the war on terror, consolidate American world leadership, and entrench the Republican party for decades.

+ BIO: Peter W. Galbraith

Peter Woodard Galbraith is a former United States diplomat. He is the son of John Kenneth Galbraith and Catherine Atwater Galbraith. Peter Galbraith holds degrees from the Commonwealth School, Harvard College, Oxford University, and Georgetown University Law Center. Galbraith was a professional staff member for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1979 to 1993, where he published many reports about Iraq and took a special interest in Kurdistan. In 1987, he uncovered Saddam Hussein's systematic destruction of Kurdish villages and a year later wrote the "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988" which would have imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iraq because of the gassing of the Kurds. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Galbraith as the first United States Ambassador to Croatia.

Galbraith favors the independence, real or de facto, of Kurdistan. In 2003, he resigned from the U.S. government after 24 years of service in order to be able to criticize U.S. Iraq policy more freely. His 2006 book The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End, advocates acceptance of a partition of Iraq into three parts (Kurdistan, Shiite, and Sunni) as part of a new U.S. strategy based on the reality of Iraq. He argued that the U.S.'s main error in Iraq has been "wishful thinking." He has also written extensively on Iraq in the pages of the New York Review of Books.

On January 17, 2008 he announced that he is considering a run for the governorship of Vermont. He would run as a Democrat against the incumbent Republican governor Jim Douglas and Progressive Anthony Pollina in the 2008 elections.

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Atlanta History Center
Series
FRONTLINE: Tehran Bureau Series