Ten Lessons About the Iraq War

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Ten Lessons about the Iraq War
The United States’ involvement in Iraq has certainly been one of the most controversial subjects in recent US history. Since the beginning of conflict, there has been a wide spectrum of opinions on how the issues have been dealt with from firm believers to those that completely disagreed with the government’s decision approaches. Whether you agree with the war or not, there is no doubt that there were circumstances where the government could have done different things to better the situation. In the documentary, The Fog of War, Robert McNamara, former United States Secretary of Defense, emphasized ten lessons of war that can be connected to Iraq and how the Bush administration handled the conflict. Although I will not be covering all of McNamara’s lessons, there are a few that stand out and could have been used to go about the Iraq differently in order to not only better the United States, but also the rest of the world that had influence on it.

McNamara’s first point and what very well may be the most important point in terms of war is to empathize with your enemy. He says we need to put ourselves in the shoes of our enemies and look at situations through their point of view. By doing this we can understand their thoughts that led to past actions and have it be possible to predict future ones too. From watching the documentary Bush’s War and seeing how the Bush administration initially acted on the Iraqi conflict, it doesn’t seem like empathizing the enemy was one of their key objectives. When the United States declared war on Iraq, it wasn’t so much the nation we were fighting, but rather Saddam Hussein and his close followers. Most of the people were actually being oppressed by the dictatorship and did not wish to fight the US. It did not take long at all for the Iraqi army to surrender, but conflict was still far from being concluded. Perhaps this was because we did not empathize with Saddam Hussein, the true...
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