William L. Nash

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Retired U.S. Army General William L. Nash is a participant in the Pentagon military analyst program and a military analyst for ABC. [1]

Pentagon military analyst program

In April 2008 documents obtained by New York Times reporter David Barstow revealed that Nash had been recruited as one of over 75 retired military officers involved in the Pentagon military analyst program. Participants appeared on television and radio news shows as military analysts, and/or penned newspaper op/ed columns. The program was launched in early 2002 by then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke. The idea was to recruit "key influentials" to help sell a wary public on "a possible Iraq invasion."[1]

War in Iraq

Gen. Nash said that the "US had 'lost its window of opportunity' after felling Saddam Hussein's regime and was embarking on a long-term expenditure of people and dollars for which it had not planned.

"'It is an endeavour which was not understood by the administration to begin with,' he said."
"In one of the most outspoken critiques from a man of his standing, Nash said the US had 'failed to understand the mindset and attitudes of the Iraqi people and the depth of hostility towards the US in much of the country'.
"'It is much greater and deeper than just the consequences of war,' he added. 'It comes from 12 years of sanctions, Israel and Palestinians, and a host of issues.'
"As a result, he says, 'we are now seeing the re-emergence of a reasonably organised military opposition - small scale, but it could escalate.'
"It was insufficient for the US to presume that the forces now harassing and killing American troops were necessarily confined to what he called a residue of the Saddam regime. 'What we are facing today is a confluence of various forces which channel the disgruntlement of the people,' said Nash.
"'You can't tell who is behind the latest rocket propelled grenade. It could be a father whose daughter has been killed; it could be a political leader trying to gain a following, or it could be rump Saddam. Either way, they are starting to converge.'
"He said: 'the window of opportunity which occurred with the fall of Saddam was not seized in terms of establishing stability'.
"'In the entire region - and Iraq is typical - there is a sense that America can do whatever it wants. So that if America decides to protect the oilfields and oil ministry, it can.
"'And if America doesn't provide electricity and water or fails to protect medical supplies, it is because they don't want to or they don't care.'"
Source: Guardian/UK, June 22, 2003.


Nash "has extensive experience in peacekeeping operations, both as a military commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina and as a civilian administrator for the United Nations in Kosovo. He served in the Army for 34 years, and is a veteran of Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm. Since his retirement in 1998, Nash has been a Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Director of Civil-Military Programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. In addition to his duties at the Council on Foreign Relations, General Nash is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and a military consultant for ABC News. He has been the Director of the Council's Center for Preventive Action since April, 2001." [1]

Other affiliations

SourceWatch resources

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Barstow, "Behind Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand," New York Times, April 20, 2008.
  2. Directors, Population Action International, accessed May 1, 2008.
  3. Advisory Board, Council on Foreign Relations, accessed January 19, 2008.
  4. Directors and Advisors, Genocide Watch, accessed April 15, 2008.