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Noah Feldman has emerged as one of the most serious and thoughtful contributors to U.S. strategy in the age of terrorism and counterterrorism. Professor Feldman spent a good chunk of 2003 in Baghdad as a constitutional advisor to the Iraqi Governing Council, which was established under the occupation government of Ambassador Paul Bremer. Since then, Feldman has become an important commentator on U.S. policy in Iraq. Many young political operatives cycled through Iraq in 2003 and 2004, but Feldman was unusually well qualified for his position. He holds a degree in Islamic thought, speaks fluent Arabic, and specializes in the constitutional status of religion. Before the Iraq invasion, he was already at work on his first book, After Jihad, a brief for the compatibility of Islam and democracy and the importance of promoting democratic reform in Muslim countries. He also distinguished himself from his contemporaries in Iraq as a self-described political liberal in an occupation government with a distinctly rightward tilt.

Feldman is one of few liberals working to develop a robust and principled foreign policy that can respond to the challenge of terrorism, the rumblings of conflict between civilizations, and the quandaries of "promoting democracy" and "building nations." Despite intermittent calls for a new, progresssive foreign policy, the most recent presidential race amply demonstrated that liberals have mostly ceded the terrain of "democratic change" to conservatives and neoconservatives who formulate and pursue a newly aggressive foreign policy.


International Law | Law | Military, War, and Peace


What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building by Noah Feldman, Princeton University Press, 2004, pp. 154, $19.95.