What have we learned about America's recent wars abroad?

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - More than 100 Portland area community members and students packed a hall at the University of Southern Maine to discuss the grave situation in Iraq and Syria, and talk about the U.S. response. The so-called "teach-in" titled "Shifting Alliances: Isis in Iraq and Syria," featured four Maine-based experts on the region, who were on hand to answer questions from the crowd.



Jun 19, 2014
U.S. Army

In December 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the last American troops had left Iraq — ending nearly nine years of war. In the aftermath of the US withdrawal, Iraq has seen a steady amount of sectarian violence. In recent days, a group that even al-Qaida found too extreme has made significant advances in the country — the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS has seized large areas of northern Iraq. There are conflicting reports about whether ISIS has taken control of the country's largest oil refinery.


Nov 12, 2013

  As the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wind down, our country is facing another longer-term battle -  against post-traumatic stress. How can we help those with PTSD?

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Dr. Dave Meyer from Togus VA

Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and Executive Director of Give An Hour

Kathy Russin, MST Program Director at Togus 

Clifford Trott, PhD, Team Leader/Clinical Psychologist, Portland Vet Center 


  The Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations recently hosted a talk by Pulitzer Prize winning author Fred Kaplan. His talk is titled Counterinsurgency, Iraq, and Afghanistan: Counterinsurgency, Iraq, and Afghanistan: One Strategy Doesn't Fit All. Kaplan says that counter-insurgency is inseparable from nation-building, and anyone not willing to undertake the second has no business with the first.

  The Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations recently hosted a talk by Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School. His topic was Deja Vu All Over Again?: Iraq, Iran, and the Israel Lobby.

  The Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations sponsored a talk by Peter VanBuren, a veteran of the US Foreign Service, who has served in many countries around the world.  His talk centered around his book “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People.”

Mr. Van Buren's talk was entitled Lessons from the "Reconstruction" of Iraq.