10:00 am EDT - 11:30 am EDT

Past Event

Are We At a Turning Point in Iraq?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT

Center for Strategic and International Studies
Room A, B-1 Conference Center

1800 K Street, NW
Washington, DC

This week marked the 1,000th U.S. casualty in Iraq. As reports develop about the changing nature of Iraq’s insurgency, and U.S. politicians debate the future of the U.S. commitment to Iraq, efforts to reconstruct Iraq hang in the balance. The State Department is revising U.S. assistance plans. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned this week that violence may jeopardize plans for the January elections in Iraq.

Given the deteriorating security environment, has the reconstruction reached a turning point? What are the U.S. goals in Iraq, and can U.S. efforts succeed in the face of the endemic violence? Are elections possible in the current environment? What is the U.S. and Iraqi strategy for addressing the insurgency—and is it workable? Are there unheralded reconstruction success stories that could provide a model for the way forward? Is there a window of opportunity for the international community to broaden its engagement in Iraq?

Frederick Barton and Bathsheba Crocker, authors of the recent CSIS report Progress or Peril?, and Michael O’Hanlon, author of the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index, will shed light on these questions and discuss their innovative reports on Iraq’s reconstruction efforts. Together, these two reports offer unique and extensive assessments of the latest trends in the reconstruction. Barton, Crocker, and O’Hanlon will draw on their findings to put forward practical recommendation for U.S. and Iraqi policymakers struggling to turn the page on difficulties and solidify progress in Iraq.


Rick Barton
Senior Adviser, International Security Program
Co-Director, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, CSIS

Michael E. O’Hanlon
Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, the Brookings Institution

Bathsheba N. Crocker
Fellow, International Security Program and
Co-Director, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project, CSIS

The CSIS report, Progress or Peril? Measuring Iraq’s Reconstruction was released on September 8, 2004, and can be found at [PDF].

The Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index is updated every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and is available at: