Patrick Cottrell asks if the U.S. is “Dead Wrong” in his faculty lecture


Patrick Cottrell, associate professor of political science, will present “Dead Wrong: Will the United States Repeat the Mistakes of the Iraq War in North Korea and Iran?” on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. in Fred Meyer Lounge in the Riley Campus Center at Linfield. 

Cottrell will discuss the Trump administration’s provocative statements regarding Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, and how it would be wise to reexamine the most recent US-led effort to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Indeed, many have called the 2003 decision to invade Iraq the greatest strategic blunder in American history. Yet for the last decade, most debates surrounding the war have centered on events set in motion once the war began – a botched occupation, the relative success of the “surge,” and the rise of ISIS.   

Drawing from his research and personal experience working on Iraq WMD issues at the U.S. Department of State during the Clinton and Bush administrations, Cottrell returns the focus to the decision to go to war itself. By putting the audience in the shoes of those responsible for making Iraq policy in the years prior to the invasion, he will identify often overlooked contours of this fateful decision and reveal lessons of contemporary relevance for the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran and North Korea that have been obscured or forgotten in the fog of war.  

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month. For more information, call 503-883-2409.