Roll Call: The News Source of Capitol Hill Since 1955
October 31, 2014

How the Iraq War Crippled U.S. Military Power

Defense One: “If you want to appreciate risk today, just surf the web for five minutes. Dramatic and dangerous change is happening everywhere in the international security environment. In some cases, the use of United States military forces or even the credible promise to act would help prevent hostilities, reduce and limit hazards, or mitigate greater harm. Increasingly, however, we appear unwilling to consider military tools to secure common goals — except under the most benign circumstances. To understand why, look no further than the Iraq War.”

“Among world events nudging global insecurity toward new levels of danger are the tense rivalry between China and Japan, Russia’s ongoing proxy invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s continued provocations, and the greater Middle East and South Asia’s persistent threat of contagious civil conflict. The U.S. appears paralyzed in the face of potential catastrophe, responding timidly with one arm clearly tied behind its back. In almost every case, bold collective action, including a potential show or limited use of military force, would serve to communicate resolve, reassure friends and, if necessary, compel adversaries to back down. Among our still-potent instruments of power, U.S. armed forces still have the most distinctive competitive advantage.”

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