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Rice adviser: ‘The biggest stupid idea was to invade Iraq in the first place.’

By Matt Corley  

"Rice adviser: ‘The biggest stupid idea was to invade Iraq in the first place.’"


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Former Australian Army officer David Kilcullen, who helped Gen. David Petraeus “design his 2007 counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq,” is currently an adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In a recent interview with Spencer Ackerman, Kilcullen, the main author of an upcoming handbook on counterinsurgency for senior policy-makers, said he tells them they should “think very, very carefully before intervening” in other countries. As an example, Kilcullen called the invasion of Iraq “f*cking stupid“:

More bluntly, Kilcullen, who helped Petraeus design his 2007 counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, called the decision to invade Iraq “stupid” — in fact, he said “f*cking stupid” — and suggested that if policy-makers apply the manual’s lessons, similar wars can be avoided in the future.

“The biggest stupid idea,” Kilcullen said, “was to invade Iraq in the first place.”


The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss highlights McCain’s argument that the original decision to invade Iraq is a matter for historians, while the surge is a matter for voters.


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