Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

Paul Wolfowitz on Iraq ten years later

A statue of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is pulled down by US troops in central Baghdad April 9, 2003. Image Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

A statue of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is pulled down by US troops in central Baghdad April 9, 2003. Image Credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Ten years ago today, the United States invaded Iraq and a few short weeks later deposed Saddam Hussein. After a period of popularity, the war became unpopular with the American public and with many in the body politic who had supported it.

Last week, I sat down with AEI fellow Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense at the time of the Iraq invasion, to ask him how he sees things a decade later. It won’t surprise anybody who knows Paul to hear that he remains committed to Iraq, persuaded that America made the right choice in 2003, and thoughtful about lessons learned and unlearned. Watch the whole thing here:

9 thoughts on “Paul Wolfowitz on Iraq ten years later

  1. Well considering the nations school textbooks are made in Texas it won’t surprise me if decades from now the Iraq war is placed up in the realm of ww2.Not my children though they will be told the truth of what a disaster this war of choice was and continues to be for all involved.

    • The war destroyed Saddam Hussein’s war machine, crippled Islamo-Arab terrorism, and created a viable alternative to dictatorship in the Middle East – by no stretch can that be considered a disaster; it was an accomplishment.

      • Um…

        The war crippled Saddam’s war machine and removed a dictator, yes.

        It completely altered the balance of power, empowered Shias (Iran) at the expense of Sunnis (our Gulf Arab “allies”). It left behind an autocratic democracy under Maliki that can hardly be described as a “democracy” and it left Iraq a still volatile sectarian tinderbox that any day can result in outright civil war between Kurds, Shias and Sunnis.

        As for “Islamo-Arab terrorism” we killed a ton of guys in the field but their structures remain intact and are resurrecting. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has gotten a new wind in Syria by example, while Sunni jihadis have new legitimacy in their opposition to the Shia dictator (Maliki) we left in charge.

        So you do the math and decide whether the intervention was a net positive or a net negative.

        • Add to the equation, that we took away a dispicable regime opposed to Iran and replaced it with a dispicable regime allied with Iran. Every Ministry [fiefdom themselves] are led and staffed by the core Badr Group and ISCI herarchy who were exiled in SW Iran for the greater part of Husseins rule.

        • Iran was not empowered until Obama and his obsession with withdrawing from the Middle East arrived. The claims that Iraq is close to outright civil war have been dissected repeatedly the analyses of Amir Taheri.

          Citing Al Qaida ignores again that rebuilding is happening because of Obama’s obsession with quitting the fight.

          Overthrowing Hussein and replacing it with a democracy was a NET POSITIVE.

  2. That war was justified by the administration’s claims of WMDs in Iraq. It had nothing to do with liberation until the WMD manufactured crisis became apparent. Keep running Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush. You screwed your country with your manufactured crisis. You should all be charged with treason for what you did.

    • Those claims were verified by what the US found – weapons grade uranium, test sites, missiles and missile sites, parts and blueprints for at least one centrifuge, agreement for join weapons construction with North Korea. The US did the right thing. Treason is what the Democrats are guilty of.

  3. Let’s face the facts, this was an illegal and unjust war propagated by liars and murderers! All involved in starting this war are nothing less than criminals and should be charged with homicide! Bring the rope!

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