Ten years after the US declared its victory over Saddam Hussein, Iraq is still mired in violence, with each day adding up to death toll among its population. Washington is meanwhile considering another mission in the region.
“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” the famous message President George W. Bush delivered on May 1, 2003.
Washington decided to send in 20,000 more troops in 2007. That surge cost the US the lives of more than a thousand soldiers and many billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money.
Iraq’s first elections following US forces’ withdrawal were held in April, revealing the depth of the crisis the ‘liberated’ Iraq finds itself in. Terrorist attacks which preceded the polling left over 100 people dead, including 14 election candidates. The upsurge of violence forced a third of provinces to refrain from voting due to security concerns.
Many Iraqis believe daily deadly bombings – the country’s present-day routine – are too high a price for toppling of tyranny by foreign military forces.
The Iraq War appeared to be one of the most expensive in US history. Together with the Afghanistan military campaign it will cost taxpayers up to $6 trillion, according to a recent Harvard report.
The fact that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq, undermining the main pretext for starting the military campaign, former President Bush continues to reaffirm how comfortable he is with the with his decision to invade Iraq.
“I am comfortable in the decision-making process. I think the removal of Saddam Hussein was the right decision for not only our own security, but for giving people a chance to live in a free society,”.