Optimism in the Iraq war

By By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

Although the war in Iraq is failing, Americans need to have confidence that the United States will achieve some sort of victory, said Philip Gordon, a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

At the U’s Middle East lecture series last Thursday, Gordon presented a lecture based on his new book, Winning the Right War: The Path to Security for American and the World.

During his speech, Gordon offered his opinions about why the war has turned out badly, causes of the war and what the United States needs to do in order to be successful in Iraq.

Gordon said the war is failing for multiple reasons: Iran is rising, al-Qaida is reorganizing, the United States’ standing in the world is at an all-time low and the number of global terrorist attacks are increasing.

To be successful in the Middle East, Gordon said the U.S. government needs to change a number of things.

“We need to restore the moral standing of the (United States) in the world in order to gain support,” Gordon said.

He also said the United States needs to focus seriously on homeland security, put the terrorist threat in proper perspective, consider military operations in advance and be optimistic.

Despite the risks and possibility of a long-term war, Gordon said the United States has to be confident that its system and society can be a model for others and that the fervor for terrorism will fade.

“We should be confident that we will gain some sort of victory,” Gordon said.

During the lecture, Gordon said the Iraqi war is most like the Cold War, where the United States faced a period of hostility with the Soviet Union.

The Cold War lasted from the mid-1940s until the early 1990s. During the Cold War, there was no direct military contact between the United States and the Soviet Union. Instead, the war was fought on several other fronts, including a nuclear arms race, political battles for world support, the space race and technological advances.

Gordon said the United States will win the Iraqi war in the same way the Cold War was won.

“We have to continue to put pressure on the enemy’s ideology until it collapses,” Gordon said. “We will win this war only if and when that happens.”

The Middle East lecture series will resume in January.

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Philip Gordon outlines how the U.S. can defeat the terrorists.