It is the war that has been declared “over” many times and has largely been lost in the shuffle of a higher profile conflict in Afghanistan (and one looming in Libya), but the Iraq War is now entering its ninth year. Eight years of fighting and massive death tolls later, the end game is no more clear now than it was when it began.
Nominally, the US is required under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to leave the nation by the end of the year, but all indications are that this won’t happen. Indeed, reports are that a mostly behind-the-scenes debate is ongoing not on if the US occupation will continue, but how big it will be.
War opponents will, to be sure, still be protesting the Iraq War on its anniversary. Largely, however, it is an afterthought, a war most Americans assume was won years ago. With pre-packaged “last combat troops leaving” footage broadcast over the course of last summer, this is hardly surprising.
This anniversary of the Iraq War will surely be the least noted one since the 2003 invasion, but with the indications of an open-ended continuation of the conflict, there will be plenty of additional opportunities to remember a war that is still going on.