Latest Issue

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Was the Iraq adventure doomed to fail or did the US administration mess it up? A new crop of books suggests that the nation-builders of Iraq were fighting the right war in theory but not in practice

By Mark Leonard   February 2006

The Iraq war started as a war of ideas. It erupted from the most divisive clash of ideology since the end of the cold war. Every facet of the case for war became a site of conflict. And now that the war is over, the battle to interpret its legacy is every bit as fraught. After the polemics arguing for or against invasion, and the “fly on the wall” accounts of the run-up to war, a third generation of books asks a simple question: was Iraq doomed to fail or did George Bush mess it up?

As the casualties mount…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect