As Iraq Elections Near, Few Prospects For A U.S. Exit Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Ricks talks about the upcoming national elections in Iraq and predicts an unexpectedly prolonged involvement in the region. "I don't think Americans realize just how stuck we are in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East," he says.
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As Iraq Elections Near, Few Prospects For A U.S. Exit

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As Iraq Elections Near, Few Prospects For A U.S. Exit

As Iraq Elections Near, Few Prospects For A U.S. Exit

As Iraq Elections Near, Few Prospects For A U.S. Exit

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122990609/123025265" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Thomas Ricks is a veteran journalist and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan think tank that studies national security issues. Alex Wong/Getty hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty

Thomas Ricks is a veteran journalist and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan think tank that studies national security issues.

Alex Wong/Getty

Journalist Thomas Ricks was born in Massachusetts, but grew up partly in Afghanistan, where he attended the American International School in Kabul. As an adult, Ricks has become an esteemed specialist on American military activities, most notably in the Middle East and Balkan regions.

Which is why it's arresting when he tells Terry Gross: "I don't think Americans realize just how stuck we are in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East. ... All of the basic questions that have led to violence in the past are still out there."

While covering the nation's military and its wars for The Washington Post and previously for the Wall Street Journal, Ricks has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Besides contributing frequently to various periodicals, Ricks is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, where he writes a blog called The Best Defense. Ricks is also the author of two books on American military policy in Iraq, The Gamble and Fiasco.

Ricks returns to Fresh Air to talk about the run-up to the March 7 national elections in Iraq and what he sees as the inevitable longevity of American involvement in the region.