Five years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, the debate on how the United States should proceed in the divided nation is as heated as ever. Although violence has declined, the U.S. military remains in a fight for peace and stability while a divided Iraqi government has failed to reconcile crucial political and economic issues. Additionally, Afghanistan remains far from stable with a resurgent Taliban and rampant drug trade among numerous problems facing Hamid Karzai’s government.
On March 31, Opportunity 08 hosted a discussion to examine specific policy questions facing for the next president in dealing with the Iraq conflict, as well as how to stabilize Afghanistan. Participants included Capt. Ann Gildroy, a Marine Corps officer just back from southern Iraq; Lee Feinstein, national security director, Hillary Clinton for President; Denis McDonough, foreign policy coordinator, Obama for America; Randy Scheunemann, chief foreign policy advisor, John McCain 2008; Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings; Brookings Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack and Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shapiro. Opportunity 08 Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon introduced the event.
Opportunity 08 aims to help presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, providing ideas, policy forums and information on a broad range of domestic and foreign policy questions.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.