US Army’s Iraq War Study Remains Unpublished Years After Completion

Senior leaders worried how they'd be portrayed

It’s been praised by a number of top Army officials privy to it, and many think it’s a vital to make clear the lessons learned in the disastrous occupation of Iraq. But “The United States Army in the Iraq War” study remains unpublished, and may never see the light of day.

With officials citing the need to “relearn” many of the lessons of Vietnam at the start of the occupation of Iraq, Gen. Ray Odeirno commissioned the study in 2013. By 2015 it was completed, and had been compiled into a two-volume document.

Most Army officials on the record say it should be public, and some in Congress are also pushing for the completed document to finally be released. Yet there is a quiet resistance from senior leadership at the time, who are worried a report that declared the war “largely unsuccessful” will make them look bad.

The Army’s current position is that the study is “not an official history,” but that it would be published by the Army War College in the future. Whether it becomes publicly available then is uncertain, though it is clear that some simply prefer that the war’s failures remain unspoken.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.