Iraq and Sicily

The neocons fear the fate of the Athenian demagogues who sold the Sicilian Expedition as a slam dunk, and were blamed when it went sideways.

The obvious historical analogy to the feckless Iraqi adventure is the Athenians’ Sicilian Expedition in the Peloponnesian War. In each case what seemed in prospect like a cheap power-grab by the dominant power turned into disaster, and in the Athenian case the end of its hegemony. Now it appears that the neocons fear the fate of the Athenian demagogues: having persuaded the demos to support the Sicilian venture, they took the blame when it failed.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: