How Have Iraq and Libya Changed US Foreign Policy?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Libyans celebrate outside the Libyan embassy in London. (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The debate over whether to intervene in Syria continues, and many questions remain. What role would the U.S. play in an intervention? How should Americans engage the international community? Should we arm the Syrian opposition? 

Today we have the opportunity to reflect on the U.S.’s role in two recent conflicts. One year ago today, the American troops joined their French and British counterparts on the battlefield in Libya. Nine years ago today, the U.S. launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. What have we learned from these conflicts, and how do they inform U.S. foreign policy today? 

Joining us is Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University and former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department.


Anne-Marie Slaughter

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [2]

Syria is ruled by a minority. Syria also has the 13th largest army in the world. I imagine that a large portion of the Syrian military is made up of the majority sect of Syria. Syrians need to determine their future themselves. At the most, the US should encourage the countries that want to help the Syrian opposition. But I don't think we should get involved especially when it's apparent that the Syrian majority doesn't want to get involved.

Mar. 19 2012 10:17 AM

This conversation turns reality on its head and therefore this partisan self indulgence is not to be taken seriously.

The historically unique "Arab Spring" really began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq which left a constitutional and representational government in the keystone nation of Iraq. It was the US military's largest and successful effort in toppling a dictator with a large and powerful army since WWII and its effects in the struggle for liberty in the region was no accident. Saying we went it alone will be news to the foreign ministries of the UK, Italy, Poland, Denmark and several other nations. Nine years later the ripple effect of those Iraqi elections is widespread in the region while media and academia attempt to reform recent history to suit their political conceit.

No mention of course that the Libya intervention violated the War Powers Act and the US Constitution. The UN seems to be the grand standard for international justice however wasn't Libya on the UN Human Rights Council just last year?

Mar. 19 2012 10:05 AM

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