Great Issues—Miller Center

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Great Issues: Scholarship in the Public Interest

More from Ryan Crocker


Perceptions of the United States in the Middle East - Ambassador Ryan Crocker reflects on perceptions of the United States in the Middle East. Anecdotally, many Middle Easterners claim to like American values but resent American policies in the region. The way to combat negative perceptions, according to Crocker, is to strike a balance between staying engaged in the region while ensuring the autonomy of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reconstructing a War Zone - The biggest lesson from reconstructing Iraq, according to Ambassador Ryan Crocker, is that it is extremely difficult to complete large scale infrastructure projects while fighting insurgencies. Instead, there has to be significant security within a country to ensure that reconstruction efforts can succeed.

Statebuilding in Iraq Versus Afghanistan - Ambassador Ryan Crocker discusses how statebuilding has taken radically different shapes in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Iraq has oil and can generate income, Afghanistan has very few resources and a chronically underdeveloped civil society. Crocker compares and contrasts statebuilding in these two challenging environments.

Strategic Planning in a Messy World - The Cold War-era global political structure has been replaced by an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world. While the United States has a history of strong, long-term strategic planning, Ryan Crocker contends that it lacks the ability to understand the importance of history.

What Does Success Look Like in Afghanistan? - Ambassador Ryan Crocker explains why human capital is the key to making Afghanistan a successful example of state-building. The post-Taliban, urban generation is graduating college, has access to the outside world, and is determined to prevent the return of warlordism.