What Comes After the 9/11 Era? NYT:

Sept. 11, 2021

“Everything in my profession revolved around the War on Terror. And everyone I knew who was even the least bit conservative (a category that included many Democrats) was ready to invade Iraq — and probably Syria and Iran for good measure.

Everyone except one college friend, Elbridge Colby, then newly planted at the State Department. His politics in those days were “severely conservative” (to borrow a phrase from the political taxonomist Mitt Romney), but he expected George W. Bush’s strategy to end in disaster. Nightly in our unkempt apartments he argued with the hawks — which is to say with all of us — channeling the realist foreign policy thinkers he admired, predicting quagmire, destabilization and defeat.

In almost every way the rest of the post-9/11 era vindicated his arguments — not just in the Iraq war but also in our chaos-sowing Libya intervention and our failed attempt at nation-building in Afghanistan.”