The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present
The renowned diplomatic historian looks back at the ideas, policies, and decisions that led from Vietnam to the Iraq War and to America's disastrous new role in the Middle East. "What will stand out one day is not George W. Bush's uniqueness but the continuum from the Carter Doctrine of 1979 to "Shock and Awe" in 2003."fromThe Long Road to Baghdad In this stunning new narrative of the road to America's "new longest war," one of the nation's premier diplomatic historians excavates the deep historical roots of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq. Lloyd Gardner's sweeping and authoritative narrative places the Iraq War in the context of U.S. foreign policy since Vietnam, casting the conflict as a chapter in a much broader storyin sharp contrast to the host of recent accounts, which focus almost exclusively on the decisions (and deceptions) in the months leading up to the invasion. Above all, Gardner illuminates a vital historical thread connecting Walt Whitman Rostow's defense of U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia, Zbigniew Brzezinski's renewed attempts to project American power into the "arc of crisis" (with Iran at its center), and, in the aftermath of the Cold War, the efforts of two Bush administrations, in separate Iraq wars, to establish a "landing zone" in that critically important region. Far more disturbing than a reckless adventure inspired by conservative ideologues or a simple conspiracy to secure oil (though both ingredients were present in powerful doses), Gardner's account explains the Iraq War as the necessary outcome of a half-century of doomed U.S. policies. The Long Road to Baghdadis essential reading, with sobering implications for a positive resolution of the present quagmire.
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The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the PresentUser Review - Book Verdict
In this meticulously detailed analysis, Gardner (Research Professor of History, Rutgers Univ.; Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam) finds the seeds of the second Gulf War in two festering national security wounds from the 1970s: Vietnam and the Iranian Revolution. The Shah's fall cost America a reliable ally (in Gardner's lexicon, a "landing zone") in the region and left a sworn enemy astride the world's second-richest oil reserves. Iraq, with its own vast reserves as well as its own baggage, became America's sometime ally and strategic counterweight to Iran. For neoconservatives (who began demanding regime change in Iraq immediately after the first Gulf War), Iraq would also be the antidote to Vietnam: "a test to see if Americans had the stomach to prevail over its enemy." The depiction of an America with something to prove and something to protect (access to oil) informs Gardner's nuanced exploration of the shifting justifications for the war; the turn away from al-Qaeda, toward Iraq; and the march, led by Vice President Cheney, toward a more imperial presidency. President Bush says only history can judge this war; in this deeply sourced and essential volume, history is none too pleased. Recommended for all libraries.-Elliott Sparkman Walker, freelance journalist, Radnor, PA
Review: The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of US Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the PresentUser Review - Tim - Goodreads
It was enlightening to read such a well-presented and compelling argument. It abruptly ended, or at least it felt that way... because it was published in 2008 and I wanted to keep reading to ... Read full review