In 2002 and 2003, Americans pointed to Japan after the Second World War as a model which proved that enemy countries could be remade into stable democratic allies through short military occupation. Planners and politicians drew on their understanding of events in Japan to learn "lessons" for a post-Saddam Iraq. In the years since, it has become common to blame the failures of intervention in Iraq on American ignorance and insufficient planning. But is that popular characterization correct? This talk discusses whether and how the planning phases for Japan and Iraq differed, and with what implications for the occupied countries.
Dr. Dayna Barnes is a specialist in 20th century international history, American foreign policy, and East Asia. She is a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, and assistant professor of history at City, University of London. Her book, Architects of Occupation: American Experts and the Planning for Postwar Japan, was published in Cornell University Press in March 2017.