Read David Brooks’ latest Op-Ed on nation building in Iraq.
“The U.S. venture into Iraq was a war, but it was also a nation-building exercise. America has spent $53 billion trying to reconstruct Iraq, the largest development effort since the Marshall Plan. So how’s it working out?
In short, there has been substantial progress on the things development efforts can touch most directly: economic growth, basic security, and political and legal institutions. After the disaster of the first few years, nation building, much derided, has been a success. When President Obama speaks to the country on Iraq, he’ll be able to point to a large national project that has contributed to measurable, positive results.
Of course, to be honest, he’ll also have to say how fragile and incomplete this success is. Iraqi material conditions are better, but the Iraqi mind has not caught up with the Iraqi opportunity.”