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The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq

The Achilles Trap
Fri Mar 1

The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq

The Achilles Trap
Fri Mar 1

The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Professor, and Dean Emeritus of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism Steve Coll

Time:
11:30 am - 1:30 pm CT
The Achilles Trap

Nicknamed “mad man of the Middle East,” Saddam Hussein ruled over Iraq from 1979 until his capture in 2003. An international coalition led by the U.S. invaded Iraq seeking to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, destroy his weapons of mass destruction, and free the Iraqi people. The war lasted 8 years, 8 months, and 26 days. Afterward, fingers were pointed about the existence of Iraq’s WMDs:  Where and how did the U.S. get bad intel? Why did Hussein lie? Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll untangles Operation Iraqi Freedom in his new book “The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A, and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Steve Coll Headshot

Steve Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ghost Wars and dean emeritus of the Columbia Journalism School, and from 2007 to 2013 was president of New America, a public policy institute in Washington, DC. He is an editor at The Economist in London, was a staff writer at The New Yorker for nearly two decades, and before that was a writer and editor at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of nine books, including The Bin LadensPrivate Empire, and Directorate S.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Joanne Cummings Headshot

Joanne Held Cummings is the director of the newly established Middle East Studies Program at Baylor University. She teaches Political Geography, American Foreign Policy, Middle East Politics, and Islam and Political Change, as well as the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. Cummings retired as a Foreign Service Officer from the U.S. Department of State. She served in a range of leadership positions from Yemen to Micronesia, led a U.S. diplomatic mission, political and economic units, and served as advisor to senior military commanders in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the broader Middle East. She led U.S. humanitarian programs on displacement, economic development, and agricultural sustainability in multiple countries. Prior to the State Department, she advised institutions across the Middle East through her offshore company in Cyprus. She was awarded State Department and Department of Defense awards, including Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) of 2019 and the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award. She was raised in Lebanon, lived in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, finished high school in Tehran, Iran, and graduated from university in Beirut, Lebanon before gaining an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Arabic and French.

 

  • About the event

    Nicknamed “mad man of the Middle East,” Saddam Hussein ruled over Iraq from 1979 until his capture in 2003. An international coalition led by the U.S. invaded Iraq seeking to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, destroy his weapons of mass destruction, and free the Iraqi people. The war lasted 8 years, 8 months, and 26 days. Afterward, fingers were pointed about the existence of Iraq’s WMDs:  Where and how did the U.S. get bad intel? Why did Hussein lie? Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll untangles Operation Iraqi Freedom in his new book “The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A, and the Origins of America’s Invasion of Iraq.

    ABOUT THE SPEAKER

    Steve Coll Headshot

    Steve Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Ghost Wars and dean emeritus of the Columbia Journalism School, and from 2007 to 2013 was president of New America, a public policy institute in Washington, DC. He is an editor at The Economist in London, was a staff writer at The New Yorker for nearly two decades, and before that was a writer and editor at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of nine books, including The Bin LadensPrivate Empire, and Directorate S.

    ABOUT THE MODERATOR

    Joanne Cummings Headshot

    Joanne Held Cummings is the director of the newly established Middle East Studies Program at Baylor University. She teaches Political Geography, American Foreign Policy, Middle East Politics, and Islam and Political Change, as well as the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. Cummings retired as a Foreign Service Officer from the U.S. Department of State. She served in a range of leadership positions from Yemen to Micronesia, led a U.S. diplomatic mission, political and economic units, and served as advisor to senior military commanders in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the broader Middle East. She led U.S. humanitarian programs on displacement, economic development, and agricultural sustainability in multiple countries. Prior to the State Department, she advised institutions across the Middle East through her offshore company in Cyprus. She was awarded State Department and Department of Defense awards, including Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) of 2019 and the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award. She was raised in Lebanon, lived in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, finished high school in Tehran, Iran, and graduated from university in Beirut, Lebanon before gaining an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Arabic and French.