The Iraq war twenty years on

Summary: the 2003 war lasted less than a month but the fall-out has reverberated violently for two decades leaving Iraq divided and Iraqis impoverished, fearful and uncertain about what the future will bring.

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1 thought on “The Iraq war twenty years on”

  1. I was interested to see your piece about Iraq this morning. There is one factual error – William Patey succeeded me as Ambassador in Baghdad in 2005. I was there 2004/5 when US and UK Embassies were established in the wake of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The main event was the elections in January 2005, a rare moment of optimism.

    As for the substance, I’m not sure there is anything useful to add to the acres of analysis since 2003. Your summary of the Chatham House event sounds as if it was heavy on the sins of the Bremer administration – fair enough, as the decisions on disbandment of the Army and de-Baathification, which the UK failed to forestall, were indeed a prime cause of the ensuing chaos.

    But I wonder whether enough emphasis is given in such reviews to the failures of successive Iraqi politicians and other leaders. The removal of Saddam Hussein gave Iraqis the chance to construct a new and better state. After 20 years they have yet to find a way to do so. Not all of that can be blamed on outsiders.

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