Exclusive: President Obama’s choice in 2009 to expand – rather than wind down – the Afghan War now looks to be one of his worst decisions as the conflict drifts toward a bloody defeat. But a key factor behind his misjudgment, the myth of George W. Bush’s “successful surge” in Iraq, lives on, writes Robert Parry.
Departing political leaders offer two kinds of reflections: self-serving rationalizations by those still protecting their reputations and blunt truth-telling by people who realize they should have done more when they had the chance. Both are galling, though in different ways, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Arguably, the Iraq War has been headed for defeat from its earliest days, when it became clear the Iraqis would resist a U.S. occupation, but President George W. Bush didn’t want the blame, thus the “surge.” Now, President Barack Obama is worried that “losing Iraq” will be hung on him, thus thoughts of staying , as…
Departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates is winning hosannas around Washington as a straight-talking “wise man” who reined in wasteful spending. However, the reality is much different, with Gates having spoken out of both sides of his mouth in a way that has created a dilemma for his successor, writes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
Exclusive: A recurring refrain about the Afghan War is that the United States must stay for the long haul now to avoid repeating the “mistake” made in 1989 when Soviet forces left and Americans supposedly disappeared, too. But this conventional wisdom, spread by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others, is a lie, Robert Parry writes.
A Special Report: As Defense Secretary Robert Gates prepares to retire in late June, he is routinely lauded as a “wise man” committed to telling it like it is, even making a frank comment this week about how “most governments lie to each other.” But Gates’s own record for honesty is a deeply checkered one,…
Official Washington loves departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates; politicians and pundits alike hang on his every word, applauding his “candor” and praising his “courageous” spending cuts. But military budget expert Winslow T. Wheeler says Gates’s record doesn’t match his press clippings.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other Bush-43 holdovers are pressing President Barack Obama to delay a meaningful drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and continue the counterinsurgency war, but the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland argues that a rapid withdrawal is in the best interests of the United States and the region.
Exclusive: The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have involved myths pleasing to Official Washington — about its own wisdom and the evil of the enemy — but these false narratives have caused President Barack Obama and other U.S. policymakers to base decisions on illusion rather than reality. Robert Parry examines three of these deadly myths.
Holdovers from the Bush administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, boxed President Obama into a counterinsurgency “surge” during the 2009 policy review for Afghanistan. Now, Obama has a chance to go in a different direction, but he may be too intimidated, observes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.