Looking Back at Iraq - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Looking Back at Iraq

President Obama will give a speech tomorrow marking the end of combat operations in Iraq. This is of course leading to lots of contemplation over the meaning of the past seven years of war. Anne Applebaum assesses the costs of the war to America, which she argues are underappreciated, while David Frum contemplates what the cost of not overthrowing Saddam Hussein might have been. I’d recommend reading both pieces for a balanced perspective. To the extent that Applebaum is attributing the geopolitical effects of rising oil prices to the Iraq War, she is overstating things; as Frum points out, rising oil prices in the past decade were driven mostly by Chinese and Indian demand, which absent the US invasion would have enriched Saddam Hussein and made him more dangerous.

Last week Daily Caller reporter Chris Moody interviewed AEI fellow Tim Sullivan, Hudson Institute president Herbert London, and (for some reason) me on this topic. The consensus, which Applebaum and Frum echo, is that it’s too soon to fully assess the wisdom of the invasion. London and I both emphasize that the role of Iran in Iraq’s future remains the central open question. I’m sure I’ll write about this more in the future, but for now suffice it to say that allowing the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear power would be a fantastic way to ensure failure in Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter).

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