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The Iraq War Ends

The Iraq war and America. After almost nine years, the troops are nearly home. We’ll weigh the war.

In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 photo, The Iraqi flag waves while federal Police parade in Baghdad, Iraq. In ways big and small, the signs of American influence on the Iraqi military are unmistakeable after years of training to give them the skills to defend their country and the professionalism to do it differently than Saddam Hussein's forces did. (AP)

In this Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011 photo, The Iraqi flag waves while federal Police parade in Baghdad, Iraq. In ways big and small, the signs of American influence on the Iraqi military are unmistakeable after years of training to give them the skills to defend their country and the professionalism to do it differently than Saddam Hussein's forces did. (AP)

U.S. military ceremonies in Baghdad today formally ending the Iraq War, in a fortified concrete courtyard at the Baghdad airport. A brass band and speeches as the last American troops pour out of the country. The Civil War was four years long.

World War I, four years. American troops in World War II, four years. The Iraq War, almost nine years long. A strange war. Fought by a tiny percentage of Americans. Launched on a premise that proved untrue. And yet, so much invested.

This hour, On Point: as it finally ends, we are weighing the war in Iraq.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lawrence Wilkerson,  chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005, and a retired U.S. Army Colonel.

Kori Schake, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and professor of international security studies at the United States Military Academy.

Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast and associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York. He’s also a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He’s the author of “The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “A defiant Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised he would firmly confront any meddling by Iran after U.S. forces are gone, in an interview in which he said Iraqi interests were best served when nations stick to their own business.”

Al Jazeera “The comments came as Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, continued his visit to the US. Maliki met Obama and senior US administration officials to finalise arrangements for the troops’ withdrawal.”

Foreign Policy “The Obama administration is attempting to cast the Iraq war as a triumph of the president’s vision for American foreign policy.  As a candidate, he promised to bring this war to an end, and as president he’s done so.  It also conveniently fits into the Obama campaign’s general narrative that President Obama inherited problems of Herculean magnitude. ”

Playlist

“To The Colors” by 25th Infantry Division Brass Quintet
“The Star Spangled Banner” by 25th Infantry Division Brass Quintet
Iraqi National Anthem by 25th Infantry Division Brass Quintet

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