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Q&A: Retired colonel recounts divergent Iraq War duties

Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor will share his experiences and insights about the Iraq War with Ohio University students today in Baker University Center 242. Mansoor is the chair of Military History at Ohio State University.

Mansoor was invited by the Contemporary History Institute lecture series as part of the Baker Peace Studies Program. Col. Mansoor will receive an honorarium, a payment given for professional services that are rendered nominally without charge, said Connie Hunter, events coordinator for the institute.

Col. Mansoor has more than 26 years of military experience. In 2007 and 2008, he served as executive officer to Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational forces in Iraq. Mansoor also helped the Joint Chiefs of Staff make the decision to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq and reposition those troops.

The Post's Lauren Mikolay spoke with Mansoor about his current opinions about the war and his recent work.

THE Post: What kind of experience did you have (in the military)?

Mansoor: I experienced the Iraq War in two ways, first as a brigade commander in Baghdad from 2003 to 2004 and corporal. It gave me a very intense on-the-ground experience with the counterinsurgency conflict. Then I went back in 2007 and 2008 as general Petraeus's executive officer, and it gave me a very close and in-depth look in strategic development.

Post: Do you agree with the strategy (in the Iraq War) or did you go to improve upon it?

Mansoor: I was not in favor of the Iraq War, and of course being in uniform I didn't really have a chance to debate the merits. I was at the Army War College at the time, and we had a debate about the war. I debated that our current strategy was succeeding and we had no need to invade Iraq to achieve our objectives and, in fact, an invasion would be risky for many of reasons.

Post: How important is it for students to read about the war and stay updated?

Mansoor: I think it's crucial to be an informed citizen in this country. To help our leaders make good, conformed ideas I think we need an informed citizenry. I would encourage students to read some news everyday and read good news, which is readily available. No matter what fields of studies students are engaged in, they are all citizens of the United States...

3 Culture

Lauren Mikolay



If You Go

WHAT: Army Col. Peter Mansoor

WHEN: 4 p.m. today

WHERE: Baker 242


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