Looking Back At The Iraq War

Ten years after the American invasion of Iraq, we weigh the price and lessons of the war that followed.

 In this March 20, 2003 file photo, smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during US-led forces attacks. (AP)

In this March 20, 2003 file photo, smoke rises from the Trade Ministry in Baghdad after it was hit by a missile during US-led forces attacks. (AP)

Ten years ago this week, the United States invaded Iraq. It was a fateful step, taken in the still-thick fever and fog of 9.11, justified with what turned out to be too many costly fantasies, misapprehensions, and lies. Thousands of American servicemen and women and their families have paid – and many still pay – a steep personal price for the Iraq War.

But the whole country has paid, and will go on paying, as well. In treasure and reputation and strategic strength and lost opportunities of other ways we might have started this new century.

This hour, On Point: ten years on – lessons and costs of the war in Iraq.

-Tom Ashbrook


James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic, where he’s been taking stock of the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war. (@jamesfallows)

Nathaniel Fick, former CEO and current board member of the Center for a New American Security, a liberal-leaning national security think tank. A former Marine Corp officer, he was a platoon commander to 1st Battalion 1st Marines, leading his platoon into Afghanistan weeks after 9/11. He then led 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion into Iraq during the 2003 invasion. (@nathanielfick)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic (James Fallows) “Ten years after the start of the Iraq War, it can be easy to lose sight of how much of the argument for it was idealistic. By that I don’t mean that such arguments were correct or should have been convincing; obviously I think the reverse. Rather I mean to distinguish the casus belli that is now most often discussed — the discredited and possibly manufactured warnings about Weapons of Mass Destruction — from the vision expressed by the war’s most serious-seeming advocates.”

Reuters “The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said. The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.”



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