After a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, can the U.S. move in a new direction in the region? “Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Rohde, looks at the ongoing missteps made by both the Bush and Obama administrations, and attempts to transition America away from combat.
The author — who escaped from the Taliban in Afghanistan after being held captive for over a year while reporting for the New York Times — argues that the deep relationships between government agencies and private contractors have been (and still are) one of the most detrimental policies to creating and upholding stability, democracy and peace. From 2001 to 2011, “federal agencies paid a staggering $206 billion to contractors” like DynCorp and Halliburton in Afghanistan and Iraq, but little long-term success has come from such deals. (read more – Daily News)