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Dr. Kilcullen on Iraq

Dr. David Kilcullen has a piece at Small Wars Journal that you should read. 

Spencer Ackerman, in yesterday’s Washington Independent, claims I told him the Iraq war was “f*cking stupid”. He did not seek to clear that quote with me, and I would not have approved it if he had. If he HAD sought a formal comment, I would have told him...

Dr. Kilcullen's arguments should always be read in full.  As someone who believes that the war was justified on other grounds, I would nevertheless like to take a moment to express my admiration for David Kilcullen.  We may honorably disagree about whether invasion was the right decision in 2003, but once the decision was made, Dr. Kilcullen was -- as he says -- right there on the line trying to make it work.  He says:

I thought the decision to invade was a mistake, but I put my life on the line to save the Iraqi people from the terrorists who tore their society apart after we failed in our obligation to stabilize it. And if you find those positions hard to understand, you probably haven’t been to Iraq.

I have been to Iraq, and I understand completely.  I don't agree, but I admire both what he has done and how he has carried himself.  In a free society, there are often disagreements about what is best, and good that there are.  Although he disagrees with the decision that was made, I expect that any of his contributions to that initial debate 'within the building' made it a better one.

We can all be completely certain that his contribution to the efforts to stabilize Iraq and protect the Iraqi population have been tremendous.  Dr. Kilcullen is a model of the honorable disgreement that best characterizes a free society.  Good for him.  Good for us, to have him as a companion.

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