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Neighbors? You Mean, Like Iran, Syria, and Palestine?: War is a failure of diplomacy, opined Edward S. Walker Jr., speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. Now head of the Middle East Institute, Walker was an assistant secretary of state under Secretary Colin Powell. Walker criticized Washington’s “failure to listen” to Iraq’s neighbors before the 2003 invasion. Iraq’s neighbors said the Iraqi people were unlike those in other Arab countries and would not welcome an increased US presence. Walker claimed that the US must achieve a public diplomacy victory to change Middle East perceptions of Americans.