Since the September 11th terrorist attack, many Americans have debated whether our efforts in Iraq were successful or a failure. The following two articles provide its readers with two very different viewpoints on the success and failure of the Iraq war as it relates to Nation building. The first article, “Nation Building Works,” written by David Brooks provided his readers with a positive viewpoint. The author explains that the $53 billion dollars spent by the United States has greatly improved the overall safety and economy of the Iraqi people. (Brooks).
The author claims that Iraq is currently the “12th-fastest-growning economy in the world. ” The author contributed much of the economic growth due to the production of oil in the region. Another example the author gives is a recent Gallup poll were 69 percent of the Iraqi population “rate their personal finances positively, up from 36 percent in March of 2007 (Brooks). ” With respect to the safety of the Iraqi people, the author indicated that almost half of the U. S. dollars were used to build up the Iraq security forces, which has reduced the overall violence to 90 percent (Brooks).
The author pointed to a recent ABC News poll indicating that three-quarters of the Iraq population view their military and police positivity. The second article, “ Disintegrating Iraqi Democracy Demarks Another US Nation Building Failure. ” Written by Dan Ehrlich provides his readers with a different prospective and viewpoint on the Iraq Nation Building. The author strongly believes that the Iraq Nation building was a total failure. The author accused the U. S. of engaging in a war with no real meaning. The author points to about 13 major wars throughout U. S. history where over 1. 5 million of our military personnel died. The author further argues that none of these wars were “perceived threats to national security or survival” of U. S. interest (Ehrlich). According to Brooks, “They were economic or political in nature, but sold to the public, as most wars are, on the grounds of national security and patriotism. ” The author also points out that much of the U. S. $15 trillion dollar debt is contributed to the needless wars that we (the U. S. ) have engaged in over the years on the “false jingoistic view that our way should be everyone’s way” (Ehrlich).
After reading and considering the different viewpoints of the two articles, I can truly say I cannot side solely side with one author. Both authors provided some great arguments as to why Nation Building was a success and a failure in Iraq. As Mr. Brookes pointed out, the $53 billion of U. S. Dollars has provided the Iraqi people with safety and a strong economy. However, as Mr. Ehrlich stated, much of our U. S. debt is contributed to wars. Can we (the U. S. ) really afford such wars and Nation Building at a time where our own economy is suffering?
I do agree somewhat with Mr. Ehrlich’s viewpoint that we (the U. S. politicians) engage in conflicts that are not related to a direct threat to national security or survival to the United States. Make no mistake, I am very pro military and strongly believe that the U. S. needs to use military force when it’s necessary to protect the interest and security of America. Unfortunately, as Mr. Ehrlich pointed out that’s not always the case, there’s usually a political motive behind it. In Mr. Brooks’ article, he only focused on the economy success of Iraq.
Brooks, Davis. “Nation Building Works.” The New York Times. New York Times Company. 31- Aug. 2010. Ehrkich, Dan. “Disintegrating Iraqi Democracy Demarks Another US Nation.” The Huffington Post. 1 Mar. 2012.