"Bush and many others overreacted to 9/11," says Professor Emeritus William Banks. "I blame him and especially (vice-president) Dick Cheney and then (defense secretary) Donald Rumsfeld for the reckless policies," he says. But Bush was "never nativist," and his recent efforts on immigration are not a "whitewashing" of history but appear to be a genuine effort at problem-solving, Banks adds.
"I just think that he [Biden] has been given, by his team, a false binary choice: either we stay indefinitely with a massive commitment, or we leave," says Mark Jacobson, assistant dean for Washington Programs who served in Afghanistan with both the Army and Navy reserves. "And there's a lot of areas in between, a lot of work we can do that is beyond that binary choice."