Steve Chapman on How Long We Should Stay in Iraq

Another round is not likely to make much difference.

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Bush
Paul Morse / White House

When the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, Americans were told it would be a quick, simple project. When asked how long the war might last, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said airily, "Six days, six weeks, I doubt six months."

So what's the complaint today from those who advocated the war most vigorously? We left too soon.

Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Kelly Ayotte put out a statement the other day blaming the recent rout of Iraqi government forces on "President Obama's decision to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq in 2011." That final pullout came in December of 2011, or more than eight years after Rumsfeld expected our war to be over, write Steve Chapman.

We could also resort to air strikes, drone attacks or even ground troops. But if eight years of fighting by the American forces didn't save Iraq from chaos, another round is not likely to make much difference, argues Chapman.

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