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ND faculty members to discuss war in Iraq

Author: Arts and Letters


A panel discussion on whether the United States should withdraw from, remain in, or more deeply commit to Iraq will be held at 12:30p.m. on Thursday (Sept. 28) in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

For the third year in a row, Notre Dame faculty members will address the question, “The War in Iraq: What Now?” This year’s discussion, sponsored by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Center for Social Concerns, will include Keir Lieber and Daniel Lindley, both assistant professors of political science; George Lopez, senior fellow at the Kroc Institute; and Gerard Powers, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute. Heather Hurlburt, who served in the Clinton administration State Department and later as a special assistant and speech writer to President Clinton, will be the discussion moderator.

According to Lindley, “staying the course is virtually useless. As we draw down, we must use our leverage to promote a partition, which is the most likely and least worst outcome anyway. The goal is to shorten the civil war and to lessen violent ethnic cleansing and foreign interference.”

Acknowledging that the invasion of Iraq may have been a war of choice, Powers argues that it is not now an optional commitment. “The U.S. intervention was not legitimate and Americans are getting weary of the burdens they now bear, but we have a moral responsibility to the Iraqi people that we cannot shirk,” he says.

Although critical of the Bush administration’s occupation policies, Lieber believes that the United States should stay the course in Iraq “because doing so is the best of all the bad options.”

Lopez supports withdrawal from Iraq. “If we understand that Iraq has now falleninto anarchy—which is very different from civil war—then we begin to recognize that a `stay the course’ approach does little to improve security but it will get more U.S. troops killed.”

In addition to moderating the discussion, Hurlburt will speak on “The Midterm Elections and the War in Iraq” at 5:30p.m., also on Thursday, in the lounge of the Coleman-Morse building on the Notre Dame campus.

Contact: Julie Titone, director of communications for the Kroc Institute, at , 574-631-8819

Originally published by Julie Titone &Michael O. Garvey at on September 25, 2006.