The U.S. Armyâ€™s long-awaited official history on the war in Iraq has finally been released, and it highlights the successes â€” and, more importantly the failures â€” of a conflict in which the ultimate victor is Iran.
The history, which is more akin to a study of the war, was commissioned by then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. ray Odierno in 2013, continuing under current Army chief Gen. Mark Milley.
The study was delayed for release since 2016 when it was finished, likely for political reasons, the Army Times reported, adding that some experts believe the delay was tied to concerns about airing â€œdirty laundryâ€ regarding decisions made by some leaders during the war.
The study is 1,300 pages longs, comes in two volumes, and is replete with more than 1,000 declassified documents. It spans the March 2003 invasion, ordere by then-President George W. Bush and subsequently authorized by Congress, through the U.S. withdrawal during the latter years of the Obama administration.
The study also examines the rise of ISIS following the U.S. withdrawal and the subsequent influence of Iran and Syria in Iraq.
â€œAt the time of this projectâ€™s completion in 2018, an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor,â€ authors Col. Joe Rayburn and Col. Frank Sobchak, both retired, wrote in the final chapter.
Rayburn and Sobchak also described the damage to the political-military relationship caused by the war, which also includes the American public.
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