Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Barry McCaffrey ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on the Long-Term Impact of the Iraq War

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Barry McCaffrey ; Excerpts from a Monitor Breakfast on the Long-Term Impact of the Iraq War

Article excerpt

Barry McCaffrey is the Olin-Bradley distinguished professor of international security studies at West Point. He also heads his own consulting firm and is a national security analyst for NBC News.

Gen. McCaffrey's military career included 13 years overseas, 4 combat tours, and three Purple Hearts. He was twice awarded the nation's second highest medal for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

His final military assignment was as commander in chief of the US Armed Forces Southern Command. He led the 24th Infantry Division in Operation Desert Storm during the 24th's famous left hook maneuver into Iraq.

On the impact of the US victory in Iraq:

"One thing I strongly believe is that the operation in Iraq made us immensely safer from terrorism than more unsafe. I think this had huge impact. I do not believe it creates 1000 Osama bin Ladens. I think that is nonsense.

"I think all over the world there is a calculus going on - Muammar Kadhafi, Fidel Castro, the Iranians, [Syrian leader Bashir] Assad, and they are saying there were seven states that sponsored terrorism.... So Afghanistan and Iraq have been done and we are going to move on to confront the sanctuaries one by one, hopefully with a sophisticated, multi-variant strategy.

"I think most of these people - the North Koreans are an exception - are rational. They may be murderous, they may be oppressive, despotic but they are rational. So I think Iraq made us much safer from terrorism. It is another sanctuary, it is another intelligence service that won't be out there with safe houses, bucks, reconnaissance of the targets. I think it is a contribution to our security that 10 years from now we will never know the thing that didn't happen.

"That is not to say the Islamic male, unemployed in Jordan, isn't still angry about the effrontery of American women being on his television set with their wrists showing. I don't want to be naive, but I think it was a huge contribution to our safety."

On whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction:

"I think anyone who doesn't understand that [Saddam Hussein's regime] had substantial stockpiles of chemical and biological [weapons] with an ongoing robust nuclear weapon capability, thinks King Tut is dozing. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.