Op-eds

The Iraq War's Lessons For North Korea: Prof. Bill Martel

WBUR

William C. Martel is Associate Professor of International Security Studies at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

As North Korea seems to move closer to crisis by the day, the United States and its allies are struggling with how to avert a war. They also find themselves wondering what would happen if, despite their best intentions, they did decide to wage war.

There’s a good place to look for answers to that question: Iraq. In the 10 years since U.S. and international forces invaded Iraq, the nation has, by any standard, invested substantial “blood and treasure” in Iraq: hundreds of billions of dollars spent, tens of thousands of soldiers injured and maimed, and more than 4,000 Americans killed. The enormous casualties have provoked doubts and protests in democracies around the world, followed by a divisive public debate about whether the war was “worth it.”

So before we consider any further military action in North Korea, here are several lessons from the Iraq War to think about.

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