John Diamond, author of The CIA and the Culture of Failure (forthcoming from Stanford, September 2008), recently published an op-ed in USA Today in which he discusses the Bush administration’s rejection of timetables for the Iraq war. In this fiery piece, Diamond asserts:
“Let's all try to grasp a basic point: We are not going to sneak out of Iraq. The insurgents are not going to wake up one morning and find that U.S. forces have stolen home in the dead of night. The realities of moving large armies dictate that there is no way the U.S. can significantly reduce its troop presence in Iraq without it becoming known well in advance… Let's put timetables back where they belong — back on the table, back into the conversation, so that our leaders, our soldiers, our allies, and most of all our people can engage in a sensible discussion about how best to conclude our participation in this painful conflict.”
Diamond speaks with authority on this issue because he has been writing about defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs in Washington since 1989 and is currently researching nuclear security and terrorism. In his newest book, The CIA and the Culture of Failure, he tracks the CIA through a series of crises from the Soviet collapse to the war in Iraq and explains the political pressures that helped lead to the greatest failures in US intelligence history.