Monday, February 05, 2007

The Petraeus Ph.Ds

Thomas Ricks has another excellent article on the evolving strategy for success in Iraq. It seems that General David Petraeus, who holds a Ph.D in International Relations from Princeton, has gathered around him a group of officers whose brainpower and experience are equal to his. All of them have extensive combat experience and doctorates in political science, anthropology and history.

More heads are better than fewer, i guess, but I'm skeptical that anyone can succeed in creating what Iraq does not have and MUST have if there is to be a united, functioning state: an Iraqi nationality, a sense of common destiny, of shared purpose. Peoples thrown together involuntarily in fake states always lack this, and no one to date has been able to create a national identity. Multiethnic America has one, of course, but the crucial difference between it and Iraq is that people have come here voluntarily.

I'm afraid these guys might end up Piling. Higher. and deeper., unfortunately--the most dreaded fate for any Ph.D.


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