Blogs > Cliopatria > Getting Out: Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq, ed. Michael Walzer and Nicholas Mills

Nov 10, 2009 3:00 am


Getting Out: Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq, ed. Michael Walzer and Nicholas Mills



[From the Publisher] Eventually every conqueror, every imperial power, every occupying army gets out. Why do they decide to leave? And how do political and military leaders manage withdrawal? Do they take with them those who might be at risk if left behind? What are the immediate consequences of the departure? For Michael Walzer and Nicolaus Mills, now is the time to ask those questions about exiting—and to worry specifically about the difficulties certain to arise as we leave—Iraq.

Getting Out approaches these issues in two sections. The first, entitled"Lessons Learned," examines seven historical cases of how and how not to withdraw: Britain's departure from the American colonies and from India, the French withdrawal from Algeria, Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, and the U.S. decision to leave (or not leave) the Philippines, Korea, and Vietnam. These cases offer a comparative perspective and an opportunity to learn from the history of political and military retreats.

The second section,"Exiting Iraq," begins with an introduction to just how the United States got into Iraq and continues with an examination of how the U.S. might leave from a diversity of voices, ranging from those who believe that the Iraq war has produced no real good to those who hope for a decent ending. In addition to essays by volume editors Walzer and Mills, Getting Out features contributions by Shlomo Avineri, Rajeev Bhargava, David Bromwich, Frances FitzGerald, Stanley Karnow, Brendan O'Leary, George Packer, Todd Shepard, Fred Smoler, and Stanley Weintraub.


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