12 Years Into Iraq Wars, Gen. Dempsey Marvels at ‘Deja-Vu’

Joint Chiefs Chair Didn't Expect to Still Be Fighting in Iraq

12 years ago, the US invaded Iraq, falsely claiming an Iraqi weapons of mass destruction program, and 9/11 as pretexts. Like most American wars, it was supposed to be a cakewalk, a quick regime change and being “greeted as liberators.” Like most American wars, it didn’t turn out that way.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey took part in the 1991 Iraq War and the 2003 Iraq War, and today marveled at the sense of “deja-vu” he is experiencing as the US builds up for another protracted war in Iraq.

Gen. Dempsey insisted he didn’t expect the US military to be active in Iraq by now, something most officials can probably relate to. The “easy” wars have added up into a single, protracted disaster.

Dempsey and other Pentagon officials are trying to play up lessons learned in the past failures, but they again warn that the whole thing hinges on some sort of unity between Iraq’s Shi’ite and Sunni populations, something the US has proven time and again to be unable to pull off.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.