U.S. Policy in Post-Saddam Iraq

Lessons from the British Experience

Eric Mathewson, Michael Eisenstadt
Release Date: March 1, 2003

“Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or
enemies, but as liberators.”—Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stanley
Maude, March 1917

American troops promising to end a despot’s tyranny and usher in an era
of freedom and prosperity in Iraq are likely to confront many of the
same challenges faced by Britain when its forces entered that country
during World War I. Because Britain’s Iraq experience—which soon saw the abandonment of London’s original, lofty aspirations and eventually ended with the violent overthrow of Iraq’s British-backed monarchy—may well be the historical reference Iraqis themselves use, the United States and its allies would be well advised to review the record of Britain’s engagement in Iraq and draw the right lessons from it. In this timely monograph, historians and military affairs experts provide much-needed context to the ambitious U.S. effort to reconstruct and transform
postwar Iraq.