In this article we will look at the costs and lessons learned from the Iraq war and the U.S. role in the war.
We'll also look at the future of the conflict.
Lessons from the Iraq war for the United States
One of the most significant mistakes made by the United States during the Iraq war was the deployment of too few troops. The United States never had the number of troops necessary to pacify Iraq. However, mobilizing more troops would have increased domestic opposition. A few lessons from the Iraq war for the United States can be distilled into one phrase: dismantle and rebuild.
The most effective advisors in Iraq were those who had good interpersonal skills and established credibility early on. They also had an advantage in seniority, as they were military officers. In the bureaucratic culture of Iraq, seniority was important. Assigning juniors to senior officials did not work effectively. Even if the juniors had a marginal effect, it took significant effort to establish bona fides and build credibility.
Lessons from the Iraq war for the United states included a need to use diplomacy more than military power. American forces negotiated with local leaders, and they sought the help of international institutions and foreign allies. Diplomats also sought negotiations with terrorist groups. While military power was important, the most effective commanders used their diplomatic skills to build a stable Iraq and to protect the civilian population.
Cost of the Iraq war for the United States
Estimates of the cost of the Iraq war to the United States vary. Some estimates are lower, some higher. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the war cost is between $100 billion and $200 billion, but the cost of the war is not fully known. In fact, Congress does not know how much it has appropriated for the war. The Center for Defense Information's Winslow Wheeler wrote in an online report in August 2006 that the cost estimates are not reliable.
Estimates of the war's cost have been highly controversial. Some academics have found untold costs that are not included in the official estimates. For instance, a report by Brown University's Institute for International Development estimated that the cost of the Iraq war could be as high as $1 trillion. This amount is far higher than the prewar estimates of the White House, which were closer to $50 billion. The study also highlighted the interest that is paid on the borrowing funds used in the war.
Another report by Newsweek found that the cost of the Iraq war has been much higher than the Pentagon's estimate. Specifically, Newsweek ranked the cost of the war at $8000 per taxpayer, far higher than the Pentagon's estimate of $3907 per taxpayer.
U.S. involvement in the Iraq war
The war in Iraq began on March 20, 2003. After the Ba'athist regime fell in February, U.S. aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs on government buildings and bunkers. The invasion took place from Kuwait to the south, where U.S. Special Forces had already been deployed. In the north, Iraqi forces had encountered opposition from the Kurdish-controlled areas.
Although the United States largely avoided a full withdrawal, it still maintains a military presence. But it has not developed a clear strategy for the post-war period in Iraq and Syria, and it has failed to establish an economically stable post-conflict Iraq. This means that the United States' presence in Iraq is not serving the interests of the people of Iraq. In total, the United States has spent $765 billion on the war in Iraq and the fight against ISIS. However, this figure does not include state and other non-defense agencies spending on the war. While it may seem like a large sum, it is a small fraction of the total U.S. military budget. Moreover, USAID and State have been spending billions of dollars on the war, but it is not known how much of that is actually going towards the conflict and rebuilding Iraq.
The United States needs to convince the Iraqis that it is acting in their best interests and is not a de facto occupying force. The United States should also prove to the Iraqi people that it is a key source of support for the Iraqi military. It should not only continue to provide assistance to the Iraqi government, but also to help it become more independent.
Future of the Iraq war
The future of the Iraq war is uncertain. The United States has sent more than 6,900 troops to the country, making it the largest force in the country. But the war isn't going as well as some hoped. It has stalled and public opinion is turning negative. The United States is now faced with a choice: continue to fight and withdraw, or draw down and leave. The former would admit failure and hand over power to a coalition regime that includes international peacekeepers. The latter would also ensure that an Iraqi state is democratic and follows the rule of law.
Some members of Congress are skeptical of the war. The Iraq war is a highly controversial issue for many Americans. It has been a hot-button issue in the midterm elections. But the debate over the war is important, because it will help shape the future of the country. For example, conservative Republican Rep. Walter Jones has said that a sober debate is essential for shaping the future of the war in Iraq. He has argued that the debate must be open and fair and allow equal time for both supporters and opponents.