As war on the ground in Iraq begins in earnest, the world awaits serious plans for the peace that will follow. Much has been said in recent months about the relevance of the post-World War II occupation of Japan that could serve as a model in Iraq. It is a seductive historical parallel, and the common policy objectives of democratization and demilitarization in both countries make it an especially appealing comparison. Japan’s postwar success is a direct result of the United States’ nation-building strategy. Thanks to an experiment unparalleled in international politics, a nation that had been brought to its knees in 1945 was, by independence in 1952, able to cast off its pariah status and reenter the world stage. The rest, as they say, is history.