American Troops, Iraq, Afghan Army discussed on The Brookings Cafeteria - A life in foreign service

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

I'm critical of the george w bush administration both with respect to afghanistan and then iraq i think it grossly underestimated the scale of the challenge that it was taking on an occupying these countries and trying to and trying to reform them as we later discovered the jobs were much more demanding we ultimately put over a hundred and fifty thousand american troops into iraq and well over a hundred thousand into afghanistan but in the early months we were in denial we were saying that they were going to welcome us you know with open arms that that would be minimal requirement for reconstruction it in the case of iraq at could pay for it from its own sources of revenue and this all began in afghanistan where you know at the end we'd been a in afghanistan hold year and we had less troops in afghanistan we have today and there was no afghan army and there were no afghan police force at the time whereas now we do have an afghan army an afghan police force of some considerable size and so there was just a bit of wishful thinking and i think it's source was the fact that the republicans had been in opposition to the 90s they'd been critical of the clinton interventions they were disparaging of nationbuilding if you recall the four and a half hours of tv debate between gore and bush in the two thousand a presidential campaign the only foreign policy issue that was raised was nationbuilding.

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