Wed, 20 May 2009
When should the United States go to war? It is arguably the most important foreign policy question facing any president. The Council is pleased to welcome Richard Haass for an examination of the US policy decisions that led to the two Iraq wars. Haass, who served as senior Middle East advisor on the National Security Council staff for the first President Bush and director of policy planning in the State Department for the second, is in a unique position to discuss the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. At first glance, these conflicts appear similar. Both involved a President George Bush and the United States in conflicts with Saddam Hussein and Kuwait. But there, Haass argues, the resemblance ends. The first Iraq war, following Saddam’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, was a war of necessity. By contrast, the second Iraq war, launched in 2003, was a war of choice, one that Haass asserts was unwarranted. Join Richard Haass for an inside account of both wars and a discussion of lessons for today’s foreign policy challenges.