A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

post to UNC Press Blog, 10 September 2010

Denial is a well known defense mechanism that keeps unpleasant realities at bay. U.S. policymakers seem well practiced in this common coping device. Heaven knows they have good reason, no matter which direction of the Middle East they turn.

Afghanistan seems right now to occasion the deepest denials because the realities are the grimmest. Two reports by the London-based International Council on Security and Development (from March and July of this year) were so gloomy that most U.S. media simply averted their gaze. The reports painted an unambiguously awful picture of the effects of recent military operations inspired by the new U.S. counter-insurgency doctrine. These operations appear to have not just failed but been counterproductive. Read More »