The reason for its failure is not hard to find. Like bad generals, the neocons were fighting the next war with the tactics from the last. Promoting democracy worked like a charm when it came to the Cold War. Why wouldn’t it work in the so-called “War on Terror”?
Elliott Abrams is still trying to figure that out. Abrams was part of the Reagan administration team that so nicely dissected the Soviet empire. When he joined the administration of George W. Bush as an adviser on global democracy strategy, Abrams assumed the same tricks would work in the Mideast.