Twenty years later, America is still footing the bill for Iraq

Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense, George W. Bush, US President, and Richard Cheney, Vice President, at the Armed Forces Honor Review, December 15, 2006, in Washington. Larry Downing/REUTERS

STORY – Decided twenty years ago by neoconservative-influenced George W. Bush, the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a colossal geopolitical blunder that seriously damaged the international credibility of the United States and undermined its domestic policies.

Washington correspondent

In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq in an operation with ill-defined goals and dubious justifications. After a quick military victory, this expedition turned into a strategic disaster in a matter of months, from which the Americans took years to recover. Twenty years later, the consequences of this conflict are still significant.

Historians are still debating the underlying reasons for this war, decided by George W. Bush’s team. Everyone agrees that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was completely preventable. The confluence of events remains almost improbable even twenty years later: the return to business of George HW Bush senior’s associates, particularly Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, frustrated by their victory in the first Gulf War ten years earlier; the tragedy of September 11, 2001, which gave them the opportunity to complete this unfinished operation; the frustrations of a scorching hot country…

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