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20 Years On: The Avoidable, Anguishing, and Awful 2003 Iraq War

excalibur

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But George W Bush gets embraced by Obama and Michelle and is welcome at all Presidential ceremonies.

Whereas the President of Peace, Donald Trump is scorned and not welcome.

🤔

Oh, and idiots in the United States Senate are trying to keep the AUMF alive.

...

As part of the October 2002 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq, the Congressional Budget Office provided a range for the estimated cost of the war. Taking the upper end of all categories (deploying the force, conducting active hostilities, redeploying the force, and conducting occupation duties), the cost for an eight-year war would have run just under $450 billion. As it turned out, as of the first full withdrawal in December 2011, the cost was estimated to have been (including the war in Afghanistan by 2011) a staggering $4 trillion.

The Cost of Iraq War​


The worst of the cost, however, was the human toll.


The United States military lost soldiers to a total of 4,431 deaths and 31,994 wounded. In a vastly underreported category, the members of the U.S. Armed Forces also suffered staggering numbers of unseen casualties: hundreds of thousands suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (one study suggested fully 20 percent of all those who deployed to Iraq suffered from PTSD), and an estimated 350,000 who suffered traumatic brain disorder injuries. And what did America “win” for this extraordinary expenditure of financial and human capital?

Virtually nothing. When Obama fully withdrew the force in December 2011, the eight years of effort up to that point was exposed as having created a hollow Iraqi Security Force that disintegrated in June 2014 at the first test against ISIS – after which Obama immediately returned U.S. troops to protect the regime in Baghdad. There are still 2,500 troops in Iraq today, and no end in sight.

I’m sure Baghdad still appreciates the U.S. providing a military force for its protection. The United States, on the other hand, has done nothing but pay for the 32 years of military excursion in Iraq, in both blood and treasure. Our security is not more secure because of our military presence in Iraq.

In fact, these three decades have arguably degraded our national security, as we have gotten ourselves into more debt, but more importantly, have wasted entire military careers of our service members on training for unnecessary small-scale counterinsurgency fights at the expense of preparing for potential peer-on-peer conflicts that are both more likely – and more consequential for our long term security.

As is now well established, our entry into this war was based on either incompetent leaders or outright fraud and lies. Each person can judge for themselves, but regardless of which is right, the consequences for our Armed Forces and our country have been an unqualified failure. If there is any lesson to have learned from these three decades of unnecessary conflict, it is that we the people must demand accountability from those who lied us into – and lied to keep us in – wars. What would make a great first step, however, is to end our unnecessary deployment into Iraq today.

Author Expertise and Biography​


A 19FortyFive Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.
 

Augustine_

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But George W Bush
"But George W Bush" was championed by the right every bit as much as you all do to Trump. And then you all went ballistic on Obama when he drew down forces in Iraq. But sure, I'm glad you oppose the war now that it's way too little and way too late.
 

occupied

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Most ex-presidents have a collegial relationship with each other. Trump has no wish to join any club where you treat others with a basic level of respect.
 

basquebromance

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Why did the U.S. invade Iraq 20 years ago? Two decades after the Bush administration said it wanted to disarm weapons of mass destruction and free Iraqis, the debates rage on about who knew what when, and which motive mattered most.
 

Mikeoxenormous

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Most ex-presidents have a collegial relationship with each other. Trump has no wish to join any club where you treat others with a basic level of respect.
Fucking over the American people, yeah i guess Obammy, Biteme, Clittorison, and Bushey, would at least treat each other with respect, because they sure didnt respect the US voters.
 

occupied

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Fucking over the American people, yeah i guess Obammy, Biteme, Clittorison, and Bushey, would at least treat each other with respect, because they sure didnt respect the US voters.
Another right winger who can't understand the concept of manners.
 

GMCGeneral

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For me to know and you not to find out.
Fucking over the American people, yeah i guess Obammy, Biteme, Clittorison, and Bushey, would at least treat each other with respect, because they sure didnt respect the US voters.
Notice three out of those four are Democrats and the other a RINO?
 

basquebromance

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Bush tended to make a final decision by himself, and once a decision had been taken he would not tolerate any dissent. A few people were able to influence his thinking directly, notably the British PM Tony Blair
 

Mikeoxenormous

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Saddam Hussein gassed his own people, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait egregiously, Saddam Hussein stockpiled weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was a threat to America!
Yet, when the US invaded Iraq there were no weapons of mass destruction. The Marxists/Democrats howled at Bush. Today the only thing changed was the Bushey, talked bad about President Trump, who set the NWO back 4 years. With potatohead in office we are 90 seconds away from NWO...
 

August West

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Why did the U.S. invade Iraq 20 years ago? Two decades after the Bush administration said it wanted to disarm weapons of mass destruction and free Iraqis, the debates rage on about who knew what when, and which motive mattered most.
The UN searched over 700 sites and found nothing, but Gomer invaded anyway. What`s to debate?
 

basquebromance

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No subsequent administration has had the appetite for more ground invasions that cost US lives and money, including Trump’s administration, which preferred to try regime change in countries like Venezuela using economic warfare and local proxies. But as Trump’s four years showed, whether in Venezuela or Cuba, regime change and military adventurism are still at the top of the menu for US foreign policy.

Leaders continue to try their hand at Bush’s folly, even as Iraq should’ve beaten into the heads of everyone alive that the ability to militarily subdue a country isn’t the same as winning a war, and how quickly and easily things spiral out of one’s control when a leader is violently toppled. Obama blasted Bush while repeating his policy in Libya with similarly horrendous results and intensifying similar efforts in Syria. Commentators and officials today talk with breathtaking glibness about regime change as a solution to Russian aggression. And of course, it’s not just US leaders: Russian president Vladimir Putin’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine has followed Bush’s playbook almost to a T, from faulty intelligence and expectations of being greeted as a liberator to poor war planning and empowering local extremists.
 

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