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How The Iraq War Was Won - And Lost

Spare_change

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[Peter Brian "Pete" Hegseth is a former executive director of Vets For Freedom and was a senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul with the Minnesota National Guard in 2011–2012.Following graduation from Princeton, Hegseth was commissioned as an infantry officer into the U.S. Army National Guard in 2003. In 2004 his unit was called to Guantánamo Bay, where he served as an infantry platoon leader. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Shortly after returning from Cuba, Hegseth volunteered to serve in Baghdad and Samarra, where he held the position of infantry platoon leader and, later in Samarra, of civil–military operations officer. During his time in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and a second Army Commendation]


The Iraq War was an absolute disaster – a historic mistake.

That’s probably what most Americans – not to mention most people around the world – would say. But is it true?

President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 is subject to fair debate. But it’s important to recall that, at the time, the war had overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House and Senate. Dozens of allied countries joined the coalition. That support, however, quickly faded as causalities mounted and the war started to bog down.

Criticism then turned to blame when the weapons of mass destruction that were expected to be found were not. Nothing seemed to be going right. I know – I was there, serving as a lieutenant in the United States Army.

As 2007 dawned, President Bush faced a near total collapse in both public and political support for the war. He had to make an impossibly difficult decision: accept strategic defeat and leave Iraq in chaos, or send even more troops into battle. He chose the latter, a decision that came to be known as “The Surge.”
The Democrats predicted disaster. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader at the time, said, “This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.” Senators Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton agreed.

They were all wrong.

Led by General David Petraeus, and supplemented by 30,000 additional troops, American forces and their Iraqi counterparts reversed the course of the war. It was one of the most stunning and successful turnabouts in modern military history.

In 2008, I returned to the country to see for myself. I had seen the “before.” I could hardly believe the “after.”

Attacks on US forces were down 90%. American casualties were rare. Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods were secure. Al Qaeda in Iraq was decimated. The oil was flowing again. Iraqis were rebuilding. And new elections were held.

This was the Iraq that President Barack Obama inherited when he took the oath of office on January 20, 2009.

Now, Iraq was certainly no Western-style democracy, but it was—as General Petraeus dubbed it—a functioning “Iraqracy.” So much so that, in a February 2009 speech to Marines at Camp Lejeune, President Obama said: “The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come.”

Vice President Joe Biden was even more enthusiastic a year later, when he said in February 2010: “I am very optimistic about Iraq. I think it’s going to be one of the greatest achievements of this administration.” To put it mildly, it wasn’t.

So, what went wrong?

It started when the Obama Administration got into a dispute with the Iraqi government over something called a “Status of Forces Agreement.” The Iraqis said they wanted to be able to prosecute American soldiers who broke Iraqi law. Appropriately, the Obama Administration said no; we will prosecute our own law-breakers. But instead of continuing to work towards an agreement, the president, against the advice of his own generals, ended negotiations.

President Obama had said during his campaign that he would bring all the troops home, and the status-of-forces dispute gave him the perfect excuse to do just that.
On Dec. 18, 2011, the last U.S. soldiers crossed the border into Kuwait. The United States military was out of Iraq. The Iraq War was over for America, but it was about to begin again for Iraqis.

Islamist terror, which U.S. soldiers had successfully crushed, returned with a new vengeance, most prominently in the form of ISIS. And the fragile peace between Sunnis and Shia fell apart.

With America nowhere to be seen, Iraq’s neighbor to the east and America’s mortal enemy, Iran, filled the political vacuum while ISIS brutally exploited the security vacuum.

Initially dismissed by President Obama as the “jayvee team,” ISIS took control of a large part of the country. Its black flag soon flew over Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi, and many other cities that American troops had secured at such great cost.

The war that George W. Bush had won, Barack Obama had lost.

The painful lesson is this: resolve works, and retreat doesn’t. When America commits to military victory, as it did during the Surge, it can defeat its enemies. But when America retreats for political reasons, it loses. And so do millions of others.
 
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BulletProof

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President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 is subject to fair debate. But it’s important to recall that, at the time, the war had overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House and Senate.

Bush lied. Lies and hysteria doesn't change that incontrovertible truth. Speaking of lies, there wasn't "overwhelming bi-partisan support". Democrats voted against the Iraq war resolution in the House, 82-126.

Led by General David Petraeus, and supplemented by 30,000 additional troops, American forces and their Iraqi counterparts reversed the course of the war. It was one of the most stunning and successful turnabouts in modern military history.

Never mind the rise of ISIS, the genocide against Christians, and the failure to destroy massive stockpiles of WMD (because they didn't exist to be destroyed). Oh wait, Iraq was going great until Obama took office? Oh, I guess you lying warmongers forget to plan for a Democrat taking office after Americans soured on the quagmire.

The war that George W. Bush had won, Barack Obama had lost.

Only Zionists could be as big a liars as to claim Bush had won the Iraq war. The stated goal of destroying WMDs was not met, therefor the war was lost. Bush still hadn't brought the troops back home and Americans were dying daily. By what measure did Bush win the war? By the measure you got enough masturbation war material to last you a long time? By the great number of Americans Bush killed? By the damage he did to our economy?
 

Silent Warrior

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Well Spare_Change, it looks like you have been proven wrong. After all, you were there, but Bulletproof's mommy told him the real deal.
 
OP
Spare_change

Spare_change

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President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 is subject to fair debate. But it’s important to recall that, at the time, the war had overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House and Senate.

Bush lied. Lies and hysteria doesn't change that incontrovertible truth. Speaking of lies, there wasn't "overwhelming bi-partisan support". Democrats voted against the Iraq war resolution in the House, 82-126.

Led by General David Petraeus, and supplemented by 30,000 additional troops, American forces and their Iraqi counterparts reversed the course of the war. It was one of the most stunning and successful turnabouts in modern military history.

Never mind the rise of ISIS, the genocide against Christians, and the failure to destroy massive stockpiles of WMD (because they didn't exist to be destroyed). Oh wait, Iraq was going great until Obama took office? Oh, I guess you lying warmongers forget to plan for a Democrat taking office after Americans soured on the quagmire.

The war that George W. Bush had won, Barack Obama had lost.

Only Zionists could be as big a liars as to claim Bush had won the Iraq war. The stated goal of destroying WMDs was not met, therefor the war was lost. Bush still hadn't brought the troops back home and Americans were dying daily. By what measure did Bush win the war? By the measure you got enough masturbation war material to last you a long time? By the great number of Americans Bush killed? By the damage he did to our economy?
Mmmmm ... how to say this?

Oh, I know .....

Bullshit.
 

deanrd

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[Peter Brian "Pete" Hegseth is a former executive director of Vets For Freedom and was a senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul with the Minnesota National Guard in 2011–2012.Following graduation from Princeton, Hegseth was commissioned as an infantry officer into the U.S. Army National Guard in 2003. In 2004 his unit was called to Guantánamo Bay, where he served as an infantry platoon leader. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Shortly after returning from Cuba, Hegseth volunteered to serve in Baghdad and Samarra, where he held the position of infantry platoon leader and, later in Samarra, of civil–military operations officer. During his time in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and a second Army Commendation]


The Iraq War was an absolute disaster – a historic mistake.

That’s probably what most Americans – not to mention most people around the world – would say. But is it true?

President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 is subject to fair debate. But it’s important to recall that, at the time, the war had overwhelming bi-partisan support in the House and Senate. Dozens of allied countries joined the coalition. That support, however, quickly faded as causalities mounted and the war started to bog down.

Criticism then turned to blame when the weapons of mass destruction that were expected to be found were not. Nothing seemed to be going right. I know – I was there, serving as a lieutenant in the United States Army.

As 2007 dawned, President Bush faced a near total collapse in both public and political support for the war. He had to make an impossibly difficult decision: accept strategic defeat and leave Iraq in chaos, or send even more troops into battle. He chose the latter, a decision that came to be known as “The Surge.”
The Democrats predicted disaster. Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader at the time, said, “This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything.” Senators Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton agreed.

They were all wrong.

Led by General David Petraeus, and supplemented by 30,000 additional troops, American forces and their Iraqi counterparts reversed the course of the war. It was one of the most stunning and successful turnabouts in modern military history.

In 2008, I returned to the country to see for myself. I had seen the “before.” I could hardly believe the “after.”

Attacks on US forces were down 90%. American casualties were rare. Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods were secure. Al Qaeda in Iraq was decimated. The oil was flowing again. Iraqis were rebuilding. And new elections were held.

This was the Iraq that President Barack Obama inherited when he took the oath of office on January 20, 2009.

Now, Iraq was certainly no Western-style democracy, but it was—as General Petraeus dubbed it—a functioning “Iraqracy.” So much so that, in a February 2009 speech to Marines at Camp Lejeune, President Obama said: “The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come.”

Vice President Joe Biden was even more enthusiastic a year later, when he said in February 2010: “I am very optimistic about Iraq. I think it’s going to be one of the greatest achievements of this administration.” To put it mildly, it wasn’t.

So, what went wrong?

It started when the Obama Administration got into a dispute with the Iraqi government over something called a “Status of Forces Agreement.” The Iraqis said they wanted to be able to prosecute American soldiers who broke Iraqi law. Appropriately, the Obama Administration said no; we will prosecute our own law-breakers. But instead of continuing to work towards an agreement, the president, against the advice of his own generals, ended negotiations.

President Obama had said during his campaign that he would bring all the troops home, and the status-of-forces dispute gave him the perfect excuse to do just that.
On Dec. 18, 2011, the last U.S. soldiers crossed the border into Kuwait. The United States military was out of Iraq. The Iraq War was over for America, but it was about to begin again for Iraqis.

Islamist terror, which U.S. soldiers had successfully crushed, returned with a new vengeance, most prominently in the form of ISIS. And the fragile peace between Sunnis and Shia fell apart.

With America nowhere to be seen, Iraq’s neighbor to the east and America’s mortal enemy, Iran, filled the political vacuum while ISIS brutally exploited the security vacuum.

Initially dismissed by President Obama as the “jayvee team,” ISIS took control of a large part of the country. Its black flag soon flew over Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi, and many other cities that American troops had secured at such great cost.

The war that George W. Bush had won, Barack Obama had lost.

The painful lesson is this: resolve works, and retreat doesn’t. When America commits to military victory, as it did during the Surge, it can defeat its enemies. But when America retreats for political reasons, it loses. And so do millions of others.
Oh God. Not "Obama lost the war" nonsense again.

Terrorist attacks never stopped. Even after the 'surge'. And remember this:

Mv5dCk0.gif


Does that look anything like someone who "won"???????????

Oh these ignorant right wingers and their revisionist history. It's pathetic.
 

BulletProof

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Terrorist attacks never stopped. Even after the 'surge'. And remember this:

Mv5dCk0.gif


Does that look anything like someone who "won"???????????

Oh these ignorant right wingers and their revisionist history. It's pathetic.

Another Bush victory: The dreaded shoe bomb, so now we have to take off our shoes in airports.
 

Silent Warrior

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My original post was sarcasm which you didn't recognize. I think I prefer the opinion of someone who has been there rather than somebody in mommy's basement parroting the party line. You can think of me what you want, since your opinion is ill informed and of very little importance.
 

whitehall

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Does the "Army commendation" award authorize a former Army 2nd Lt. the option to criticize the Military mission? From what I understand a CIB and a "Bronze Star" was standard issue for Officers who served in Iraq. Despite the opinion of a Princeton hack and Army Lt,, Iraq was a great military victory and a media disaster. U.S. Forces went farther and faster and took more real estate with less casualties than any other Military expedition of it's type in history. Why don't "Bronze Star" winners and Princeton hacks like Pete Hegseth appreciate the victories of American forces? Hegseth has a political agenda and the U.S. Military doesn't have the resources to indict him as a traitor.
 

whitehall

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My original post was sarcasm which you didn't recognize.

You believe Saddam was hiding WMDs and you believe I didn't recognize the sarcasm. As Bugs would say, "What a maroooon."

Bill Clinton obviously thought Saddam had WMD's and he said so but he was more interested in Monica and bombing a defenseless country in Europe. WMD's weren't the stated intent of the mission, it was an invention of the CIA. The intent was to force Saddam to comply with about 100 U.N. sanctions. President Bush even gave Iran about a year to comply and Saddam refused. It strange that the geniuses in the CIA never connected the sudden emergence of Iran as a nuclear power shortly after Saddam's forces were defeated.
 

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