The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Cordesman sums up Iraq War failure

From Cordesman. If this is the Establishment sum up imagine…

The US and Iraqi forces scored impressive tactical victories against the insurgents in Iraq during 2005-2009, but the US invasion now seems to be a de facto grand strategic failure in terms of its costs in dollars and blood, its post-conflict strategic outcome, and the value the US could have obtained from different uses of its political, military, and economic resources. The US went to war for the wrong reasons – focusing on threats from weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi-government sponsored terrorism that did not exist. It had no meaningful plan for either stability operations or nation building. It let Iraq slide into a half decade of civil war, and failed to build an effective democracy and base for Iraq’s economic development. Its tactical victories – if they last – did little more than put an end to a conflict it help create, and the US failed to establish anything like the strategic partnership it sought.

The US invasion did bring down a remarkably unpleasant dictatorship, but at cost of some eight years of turmoil and conflict, some 5,000 US and allied lives and 35,000 wounded, and over 100,000 Iraqi lives. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the dollar cost of the war to the US alone is over $823 billion through FY2012, and SIGIR estimates that the US and its allies will have spent some $75 billion on aid – much of it with little lasting benefit to Iraq.

Written by nickbiddlenoe

November 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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