University of Pittsburgh
September 26, 2006

Pitt Expert Available for Comment on Declassified Excerpts of Report on Iraq

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-William Keller, University of Pittsburgh faculty expert on national security, is available to comment on the recent release of portions of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on Iraq. Keller says the declassified portions released yesterday support the belief that making the occupation of Iraq a pillar in the "war on terror" was a strategic mistake. "It would appear that the United States has succumbed to the temptation to fight the last war again, without regard to world opinion, and with little in the way of enlightened thinking about the consequences of its actions."

Keller, coeditor of the recently published Hitting First: Preventive Force in U.S. Security Strategy, says so-called preventive military intervention rarely if ever works out. "This is a lesson that we would do well to heed as we contemplate next steps in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. Clearly, it's time to take preventive military action off the table. We don't want to confront al-Qaeda in another fractured state." Keller is the Wesley W. Posvar Chair and director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at Pitt.