Michael Mazarr - Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy

Join us for a fascinating talk by Michael J. Mazarr, Senior Political Scientist and Associate Director of the Stategy and Doctrine Program at the Arroyo Center at the RAND Corporation, and author of Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Disaster. Leap of Faith is the dramatic insider account of why we invaded Iraq, the motivations that drove it, and the frustrations of those who tried and failed to stop it, leading to the most costly misadventure in US history.

About Leap of Faith:
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.

About the Author:
Michael J. Mazarr is a Senior Political Scientist and Associate Director of the Stategy and Doctrine Program at the Arroyo Center at the RAND Corporation, which he joined in October 2014. Prior to coming to RAND he served as Professor of National Security Strategy and Associate Dean at the U.S. National War College in Washington, D.C. He has served as special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, president and CEO of the Henry L. Stimson Center, senior vice president for strategic planning at the Electronic Industries Alliance, legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, and senior fellow and editor of the Washington Quarterly at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He holds AB and MA degrees from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs.

Event date: 
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
2200 N. Westmoreland Street
Arlington, VA 22213
Leap of Faith: Hubris, Negligence, and America's Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781541768369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - March 19th, 2019