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America is Finally Winning the War in Iraq

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Despite years of combat and a recent surge of troops, Iraq remains politically and socially unstable, unable to establish a central government that can lead its diverse population. But there are many signs of progress—schools and universities are open, market places are teeming, and the nation has begun the long process of political reconciliation. Is America finally winning the war in Iraq?

The Debaters

For the motion

Frederick W. Kagan

Resident Scholar in Defense and Security Policy Studies at American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Frederick was previously an associate professor of military history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Kagan is the author of Iraq: The Way... Read More

General Jack Keane

Senior Managing Director and Co-Founder of Keane Advisors, LLC, a private equity firm

General Keane is also a member of the secretary of defense’s policy board, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a director and member... Read More

Against the motion

Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Former Foreign Secretary and a Former Defense Secretary of the UK

Sir Rifkind was one of only four ministers to serve throughout the whole prime ministerships of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major. In 1997 he... Read More

Charles Ferguson

Writer/Director of No End in Sight, a documentary about U.S. policy in Iraq

Charles received his PhD in Political Science from M.I.T. After selling Vermeer Technologies of which he was co-founder, Ferguson has been a visiting... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • In Iraq today, schools and universities are open, marketplaces are teeming, and people are engaging in social activities; this marks a dramatic change from the chaotic state of the country in 2006.
  • The nation has begun a political reconciliation with a growing number of citizens engaged in the political process and more than 500 parties formed.
  • Iraqi security forces are now fighting alongside the American army to combat enemy militias without the hindrance of sectarian infighting, which promises a future of Iraqi-led national security.
Against The Motion
  • Due to America’s poorly planned occupation, Iraq remains socially and politically unstable: its infrastructure is demolished, many former military personnel were abruptly unemployed, and the majority of the nation’s physicians are dead.
  • Iraq’s current political leadership constitutes an uneasy coalition of sectarian individuals with an extensive history of violence that has not been reconciled.
  • In committing vast resources to a now strife-ridden Iraq, the United States has weakened its own, and Iraq’s, ability to combat Iran’s nuclear development and rise to regional prominence.  

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The Research

The Research

Thinking Strategically About Iraq: Report from a Symposium

Colin H. Kahl
April 1, 2008

Iraq: Dark Shadows of Things to Come

Wayne White
April 3, 2008

Iraq Violence Calms, but is the War Over?

David Wood
August 21, 2008
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