I found the below post, and wanted to offer some notes to those that might not be familiar with the source. It is an article from FP (Foreign Policy magazine). Foreign Policy is sometimes confused with Foreign Affairs. This is truly unfortunate.
When I have read Foreign Policy, published by the Washington Post Company, I have found it to be of questionable value, at best. While they do get some good writers, the articles tend to be slanted and the magazine in general has a strong bias. I have read it and found it to be counter-productive.
On the other hand,
Foreign Affairs, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, consistently has authoritative authors and is consistently informative and neutral. Its worth noting that the Council on Foreign Relations is a non-profit, non-partisan, think tank.
I have a strong belief that one of the greatest challenges facing the US today, and the emerging technological world, is sourcing information. We (this includes me) have a tendency to seek information that supports our ideas rather than seeking information to help form our ideas. The problem is that when we base our opinions on selective facts or factoids, we widen the distance between ourselves and make it harder to find a cooperative solution. We may not like the facts but facts are true, by definition, and acknowledging them is the first step in bridging the divide.
Lesson #1: The United States lost.
Lesson #2: It’s not that hard to hijack the United States into a war.
Lesson #3: The United States gets in big trouble when the “marketplace of ideas” breaks down and when the public and our leadership do not have an open debate about what to do.
Lesson #4: The secularism and middle-class character of Iraqi society was overrated.
Lesson #5: Don’t listen to ambitious exiles.
Lesson #6: It’s very hard to improvise an occupation.
Lesson #7: Don’t be surprised when adversaries act to defend their own interests, and in ways we won’t like.
Lesson #8: Counterinsurgency warfare is ugly and inevitably leads to war crimes, atrocities, or other forms of abuse.
Lesson #9: Better “planning” may not be the answer.
Lesson #10: Rethink U.S. grand strategy, not just tactics or methods.