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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Iraq post-mortem

Combat operations have ended in Iraq and all but 50,000 troops have withdrawn (so long as you don't ask about the private security contractors who remain).

How did the U.S. do? Did "we" win?

Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) isn't kind in this interview:
Hagel flatly rejects the notion — now conventional wisdom among many Americans — that the war in Iraq has been a success. “Did you see today’s paper?” he asked, holding up a front-page story in the Washington Post that described vast swaths of the country as being plagued by electricity outages.

“Look at the facts: No government, less electricity and people want us out,” Hagel pointed out. “Anyway you measure Iraq today I think you’re pretty hard pressed to find how people are better off than they were before we invaded. I think history is going to be very harsh in its judgment — very, very harsh.
Hagel stills says the Iraq war was the worst foreign policy decision since the Vietnam war and one of the five worst in U.S. history.

Hagel is no fan of nation-building, which is why he also says "I think we’re headed for a similar outcome in Afghanistan if we don’t do some things differently.”

Hat tip: Steve Clemons.

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