Dan Caldwell Examines U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq in New Book

July 21, 2011  | 1 min read

Dan Caldwell, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Seaver College, offers a holistic view of the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and their interrelationship in his new book, Vortex of Conflict: U.S. Policy Toward Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq (Stanford University Press, 2011).

Vortex of Conflict traces the historical development of relations between the United States and the Islamic world, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, and contains a comprehensive chronology of the major international events since the 9/11 attacks.

Caldwell presents a clear history of U.S. foreign policy pre-1979, examining the revolution in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, the rise of Al Qaeda, the emergence of “the Bush Doctrine,” and other significant events. Within this context, he outlines and analyzes the major issues of the two wars, including intelligence quality, military operations, U.S. relations with allies, the shift from a conventional to a counterinsurgency strategy, the military surges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and postwar reconstruction. Caldwell concludes by summing up key lessons to be learned from the wars and their application to future conflicts.

Before joining the Pepperdine faculty, Caldwell held positions at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, Brown University, and the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C. His books include American-Soviet Relations, The Dynamics of Domestic Politics of Arms Control, World Politics and You, and Seeking Security in an insecure World. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and chair of the council's academic outreach initiative.