Wurmser, David

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PERSONAL: Male. Education: Johns Hopkins University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, AEI Press, 1150 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

CAREER: American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, research fellow and director in Middle Eastern studies.


(Editor, with Kenneth M. Jensen) Is It Feasible to Negotiate Chemical and Biological Weapon Control?, United States Institute of Peace (Washington, DC), 1990.

(Editor, with Kenneth M. Jensen) The Meaning of Munich Fifty Years Later, United States Institute of Peace (Washington, DC), 1990.

Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, foreword by Richard Pearle, American Enterprise Institute (Washington, DC), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS: David Wurmser is a Middle East specialist with the American Enterprise Institute and the author of Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein. U.S. attacks against the Iraqi despot have essentially had no effect on his power. A large-scale effort, Operation Desert Fox, took place over four days in December 1998. Hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at targets that proved to have little strategic value, and the operation was a failure. The decision to bomb Iraq was considered by some as a distraction from the debate over the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Following Operation Desert Fox, a low-level air campaign continued as Saddam Hussein's forces persisted in challenging no-fly zones.

Writing prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wurmser argues that even if efforts to remove Saddam Hussein were successful, Iraq's basic structure would not change; another Saddam-like ruler would step in to preserve the power structure. Wurmser supports the Iraqi National Congress (INC), that is working from a safe haven in the north and has tried to combine opposition groups. The INC failed in its 1995 effort to take positions held by Saddam Hussein, largely because the United States backed off on its pledge of support. Wurmser contends that the INC holds the most promise for insurgency. Commentary reviewer Bret Louis Stephens noted that given the history of the area, Wurmser's proposals are not very encouraging. "Still," wrote Stephens, "whatever its problems, Wurmser's path is at least a path, as opposed to the aimless wandering represented by the Clinton policy. And it has the undeniable merit . . . of being consonant with the principles—an end to tyranny, the forthright promotion of freedom—we have successfully stood for elsewhere around the world."



Commentary, July, 1999, Bret Louis Stephens, review of Tyranny's Ally, pp. 86-88.*