Steven Taylor has statistics to show that Iraq wasn’t exactly a thriving paradise before the war.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Aakash says:

    It would be better to compare Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War and after that war. I have seen a such a comparison of some aspects of Iraqi life, and it yields some intriguing results.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I’m sure Iraq was better off before Saddam launched an invasion of Kuwait and refused to withdraw despite an overwhelming coalition of virtually every meaningful country on the planet, including most of his Arab neighbors. And refusing to comply with the peace treaty he signed and thus drawing a decade-plus of international economic sanctions afterwards certainly didn’t help.

    The point of Steven’s post, however, is to illustrate the status quo ante for this particular war given the charges that have been made about US responsibility and, more importantly, lack of progress made during the post-“major combat operations” rebuilding phase.