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Horns of a Dilemma


Sep 29, 2023

On this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Melvyn Leffler talks about his book, Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq. Leffler discusses why he decided to write a book about the invasion of Iraq and how he went about doing so. He then outlined what he learned about this period of American history and how President Bush helped to shape U.S. policy, as Washington debated whether or not to invade. He then discussed the role of fear and anxiety and how these two emotions contributed to U.S. government thinking about threats, vulnerability, and how best to manage U.S. security concerns. Finally, he touched on how his own views of the war changed while writing the book and some of the larger take-aways from this period, including the need to always challenge one's own assumptions.  This was recorded at the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin.