March 19, 2013
TEN YEARS ON, soldier recalls Iraq invasion. “I would absolutely do it again.”
It’s nice to hear that from the people who served. I think the Bush Administration dropped the ball on Arab democracy promotion in 2005, when I believe it would have gone better than the “Arab Spring” turned out. And the Obama Administration, of course, blew the withdrawal. Nonetheless Iraq is freer, and vastly more prosperous, than it was under Saddam and has a decent shot at becoming a successful and democratic nation, which is better than many countries in the region. [Later: What, I'm on the same page with Bill Maher?]
UPDATE: A reader whose name I’m omitting because he’s a serving military officer emails:
As a military analyst, I knew why we went in from the beginning. It was the right thing to do, and the right way to do it (at least the invasion, and the later Surge).
There were some middle parts where we didn’t do a great job working toward our goals, but it wasn’t because the invasion was wrong. It was inability to adapt to an unexpected environment. Petraeus’ COIN strategy was correct, and Bush was correct in approving it.
Obama absolutely fumbled the withdrawal.
That seems about right to me.