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10 years after the Iraq War

By BriAna K. Franklin
On March 21, 2013

Americans watched President George W. Bush declare war on Iraq 10 years ago on March 19, 2003.
President Bush addressed the nation to reconcile America's role in the Middle East.
"Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror ­ and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror," said Bush.
After five years of war with President Bush, under the Obama administration the war in Iraq shifted as Obama moved to remove the last American solider from Iraq in 2011.
Obama's decision called to close what the NY Times called, "a divisive eight year war."
Now ten years later, the War on Terror in Iraq remains a cause of divide among Americans.
"The Iraq War obviously separated the U.S. in two, some for it and others was against it, but I think for me at least created a dichotomy in international relations," said Kahlib Barton, a senior mass communications "Personally, I did not understand why President Bush and his administration believed an extended stay in Iraq would heal the country's issues but more importantly how the state of the Iraqi government is pertinent to the U.S. "
Alongside a decisive military exit from Iraq the U.S. government wished to leave Iraq on better terms in regards to its relation with the United States.
Michael Gordon of NY Times said, "[The] American goal has been to leave a stable and representative government, avoid a power vacuum that neighboring states and terrorists could exploit and maintain sufficient influence so that Iraq would be a partner or, at a minimum, not an opponent in the Middle East," in the late Sept. article, "In U.S. Exit From Iraq, Failed Efforts and Challenges."
Megan Jones, a sophomore political science major, said, "I understand the American need to help other countries but before we can successfully help another country with its issues, I think we should take care of home." The Obama administration set forth a good faith attempt to reach a level of government stability in Iraq, but failed to leave Iraq how they wished.
In 2010, Obama reached out to Iraqi politicians like Jalal Talabani, Iraqi president, to persuade his resignation.
Obama believed Ayad Allawi, Shiite with extensive Sunni support, would offer "a more inclusive government and would check the worrisome drift toward authoritarianism under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki," said Gordon.
In short, Allawi never took office and the attempts to train the Iraqi military and police force with a small American force that would remain in Iraq to patrol the country which did not happen.
America never accomplished the degree of government stability it wished yet White House officials cling to the success of the U.S. exit from Iraq.
"The fact remains that the U.S. military mission in Iraq was an abject failure for America from the very start," said Richard M. Salsman of Forbes in "Credit Obama for Leaving Iraq, But the U.S. Remains Over-Committed Abroad"
Ten years later, the American presence in Iraq remains a sensitive topic of differing opinions.  

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