Leap of Faith

Hubris, Negligence, and America's Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy

by Michael J. Mazarr

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A single disastrous choice in the wake of 9/11 — the decision to use force to remove Saddam Hussein from power — did enormous damage to the wealth, well-being, and reputation of the United States. Few errors in U.S. foreign policy have had longer-lasting or more harmful consequences. Yet how the decision came to be made remains shrouded in mystery and mythology. To this day, even the principal architects of the war cannot agree on it.

Michael Mazarr has interviewed dozens of players involved in the deliberations about the invasion of Iraq and has reviewed all the documents so far declassified. He paints a devastating of portrait of an administration fueled by righteous conviction yet undercut by chaotic processes, rivalrous agencies, and competing egos. But more than the product of one bungling administration, the invasion of Iraq emerges here as a tragically typical example of modern U.S. foreign policy fiascos.

Leap of Faith asks profound questions about the limits of US power and the accountability for its use. It offers lessons urgently relevant to stave off similar disasters-today and in the future.

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