Institute for Historical Studies – Monday, November 15, 2021
“Invading Iraq” is the seventh chapter of Dr. O’Connell’s forthcoming book, Nation-Breaking: the Global War on Terror from 9/11 to January 6th. This chapter argues that most of the war’s major, avoidable errors were made by political appointees in the Pentagon — not by the military professionals who planned the war. The chapter also argues that the rhetorical strategies used to sell the war to the public generated deep rifts with America’s closest allies, as well as within the Pentagon, the Congress, the Republican Party, and the American populace.
Dr. Aaron O’Connell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin and the Director of Research at the Clements Center for national security. Previously, he served as Director for Defense Policy & Strategy on the National Security Council in the Obama Administration. Dr. O’Connell’s scholarly interests span four inter-related fields: 20th century military history, U.S. foreign affairs, cultural history, and American politics. He teaches courses in military history, U.S. foreign policy, and the U.S.’s role in the world since 1898.
Dr. Gretchen Heefner
Associate Professor of History
Dr. William Charles Inboden
Associate Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs; Faculty Affiliate of History; and
Executive Director of the Clements Center for National Security
The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Richard Immerman
Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy,
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