He was unluckily in his ambitious foreign policy , which was betrayed and ruined by his two terrible successors.
His domestic policy was a mixed bad. He was not responsible for the loose monetary policy and the the housing bubble
which began in the days of the Clinton administration and actually enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress, nor for the massive misuse of mathematical methods borrowed from finance for valuing mortgage backed securities etc, which lay at the heart of the financial crisis of 2008.
However, he did allow the deficit to grow excessively, which made the crisis worse. Many of the problems in foreign policy were inherited from the previous administrations: it was the Clinton administration that refused to provide any aid to Ahmad Shah Massoud, ignited Pakistan’s
support for the Taliban, ignited the growth and threat of Al Qaeda, created a stale mate in Iraq, with 100,000 US troops stuck in Saudi Arabia, with Iraq under embargo constantly violated and undermined by both US allies as well as enemies, and US credibility destroyed by
Clinton’s humiliation in Somalia and the ignoring of the Rwandan genocide.
US initial response to September 11 was exemplary and carefully measured. The Taliban were overthrown without almost any role played by US ground troops - US provided only the air power, the Northern
Alliance the manpower on the ground. The decision to remove Saddam and end the stalemate that existed since the end of the First Gulf War was correct. The original aim was to persuade Saddam to leave Iraq and hand over power to a dissident Sunni and Shia coalition. Saddam
could not be persuaded as he never believed (as he himself admitted after his capture) that the US would dare to invade with ground troops. He was convinced that the US would only go as far as bombing from long range, as Clinton had done in Serbia, and was convinced that, unlike
Milosevic, he could take any amount of that & eventually the US would be left with no choice to negotiate. Having committed itself so much, the US had no choice but to follow up its threats. It was, of course, above all a miscalculation by Saddam (unless, of course, you assume he
really wanted to end up the way he did - on the scaffold). The spectacular easy of American victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq, in both cases achieved almost entirely by air power, reverberated throughout the world and for a time intimidated all of America’s enemies - even
Iran was for a time on its best behaviour. But it created also hubris in American government. The Pentagon’s original plan was to hand over power both in Afghanistan and Iraq to local allies, and withdraw US troops guaranteeing only very feared and formidable support from the
air. That policy, favoured by Donald Rumsfeld, would have meant handing power in Afghanistan to former anti Soviet Mujahideen, such as Ismail Khan in Afghanistan and former
Ba’ath party leader and an enemy of Saddam Ayad Allawi (here with the Kurdish leader Masrour Barzani
That, of course, would have made the American (and European) left scream that the US had merely replaced anti-American Saddam with a pro-American one. Unfortunately Bush was very weak to such kind of stuff and thus rejected the only approach that would have stood a good chance
in the time scale that was available (maximum two terms of presidency). Instead the State Department lead then by the completely out of his depth Colin Powell (who, by the way, was responsible for the foolish idea to make Saddam’s alleged possession of WMD the official
justification for the invasion, to make it palatable to the Europeans - it did nothing of the sort, of course and a great deal of harm. Although people easily forget that at the time of the invasion @TheEconomist along with almost everyone else was totally sure that these weapons
as Saddam made every effort to convince everyone that they did). Anyway, the result was that the US greatly expanded its initial aim to “nation building” in both Afghanistan and Iraq, completely misjudging the difficulty of this task (which in particular would certainly have
required indefinite commitment of US troops, of the kind that was made in Germany and Japan). Besides, the US never committed sufficient numbers of ground troops (about a million would have been needed for Iraq alone). However, after the unexpected insurgency in Iraq, based on a
tactic the Americans completely failed to anticipate (with Sunni terrorists concentrating their attacks on the Shia population, rather than American troops, in the hope of causing a civil war - which forced the Americans to try to defend the local population, for which task they
had not enough manpower) the US finally managed to stabilize the situation, thanks to general Petraeus’s “surge” and American alliance with the forces of the so called “Sunni Awakening”. The success was so great that Iraq was not even an issue in the 2008 election, dominated
entirely by the financial crisis. Later vice-president Biden would declare Iraq to have bern the greatest foreign policy success of the Obama administration! (The video is still on YouTube).
Few people remember now that during the entire period when US troops were present in
there was no outflow of refugees to Europe. On the contrary,in spite of the lack of security due to terrorism, there was a net inflow of people into Iraq, as refugees from Saddam’s rule continued to return home.
Bush left Iraq in a solid condition, but predictably everything
that was achieved was destroyed by the Obama administration. First of all, it criminally failed to support Allawi’s non-sectarian and anti-Iranian al-Iraqia Block (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_Nat…) which won the 2010 election. Instead it allowed Iranian proxies to take power. It then
evacuated Iraq when these proxies so demanded - which could easily have been avoided (the best solution, which I advocated from the beginning, was relocating US troops to Iraqi Kurdistan, which the Kurdish Reginal Government was very keen on). The result of the appalling decision
to withdraw was the rise of Islamic State, millions of refugees and migrants in Europe and much more. None of which can be blamed on Bush.
There is plenty mire to be said on thus but it’s far too late now so I leave it here.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Andrzej Kozlowski

Andrzej Kozlowski Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @akoz33

22 Nov
This gives me an excuse to return to one of my favourite topics - Poland in the Napoleonic period. 😉
This prayer for the “conversion” or “return to the Faith” of Polish economists and scientists and for exorcising the evil spirit of cosmopolitanism from Polish universities
appeared on the site of Radio Maryja (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Mar… ) founded and run by a Redemptorist monk, Tadeusz Rydzyk (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadeusz_R… ). Father Rydzyk has been for years in an uneasy alliance with Poland’s currently governing Law and Justice Party. In fact, it was not
even always an alliance - nobody has quite forgotten that many years ago, Jarosław Kaczyński described Father Rydzyk’s project as a Russian intelligence operation. Kaczyński referred to generally anti-Western outlook of the station and the fact that it was easily able to obtain
Read 17 tweets
18 Nov
@moutet @RichardKeppler1 How Putin came to power, why, and why the military (general Lebed, general Rokhlin) failed, is a fascinating and still not entirely clear story (Andrei Illarionov, who is better qualified than any one else to do so, had a fascinating series of blog posts on this subject). If I
@moutet @RichardKeppler1 were to write what I think about it, it would make a thickish book. I was discussing this over 20 years ago with some people who are considered among top world experts and I will make the immodest claim that I was more right than they (one of those who were right from the start
@moutet @RichardKeppler1 was Andrei Piontkovsky, who, by the way, was once also a mathematician before turning to political analysis. Anyway, Greene was basically wrong, he never really understood what the KGB was. Yes, it was elite, but GRU thought itself even more elite (as you would know from
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
This is mostly true but:
1. Putin is surrounded by many Russified ethnic Armenians (including Lavrov and RT’s head Simoyan ) who actually do back Armenian claims but only as part of wider Russian imperial outreach. Their aim was to discredit Pashinyan and the American
Armenian diaspora and turn Armenian into a Russian outpost. They view Armenian nationalist ambitions as a tool that can still be used in the future.
2. The Armenian cause was strongly supported by Russian nationalist groups linked to the militants fighting in the Donbas and in
Syria. Quite a few have Armenians fought with them and expected the same thing in return. Therea are strong emotional between the two as can be seen on the Russian Telegram site WarGonzo (which carries reports on the fighting in Syria, Donbas, Libya and NK) and the Russian
Read 6 tweets
16 Nov
Here is a fragment, which I just translated, from a book by the Polish historian Paweł Jasienica entitled “Thoughts about civil war”.
It was written in communist Poland and only published in 1993, after the author’s death and the fall of communism.
On the 17th of October took place the battle of Cholet, which, although at first successful for the rebels, ended in their defeat. Their fanaticism could not match the military skills of regular soldiers Marceau and Kléber.
In a critical moment in front of the division of the latter there appeared, running away in a panic, a political commissar and member of the National Convention, Jean-Baptiste Carrier

Read 14 tweets
16 Nov
This morning before starting my Zoom lecture I told my wife the reasons why I don’t believe Trump’s claims that the election was falsified and she found them convincing, so I thought about repeating my arguments here. By the way, many Japanese are seriously worried that Biden
may abandon Trump’s “tough” attitude to China and abandon Japan alone, which makes them more inclined to take the allegations of fraud seriously, especially if some Chinese involvement is suggested.
Anyway, my argument against the fraud theory is primarily based on, wait for it,
opinion polls. Of course I am not saying that the were right, in fact, as almost everybody acknowledges , they were spectacularly wrong. But I am pretty sure that that the great majority of Trump opponents and, in particular, Democrats believed in them. And that is one reason
Read 15 tweets
9 Nov
Here is a story that should be known better than it is, about how a very brave judge invalidated a fraudulent election, in spite of great pressure and personal risk. And it happened, of all places, in wartime Japan.
Many people will be surprised that an election of any kind could actually take place in what they assume was a "fascist state", let alone that a judge could invalidate it, (or more correctly, a part of it, in one prefecture). But in fact such an election did take place in
April of 1942, , while the Pacific War was in full swing. Moreover it was not entirely unfree even by present day standards.

Political parties were dissolved in 1940, but their members continued to sit in the Diet where they enjoyed Parliamentary immunity.
Read 25 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!