The United States armed forces remain in Iraq 16-years after the initiation of combat by the United States (and the so-called 'Coalition of the Willing', a cosmetic facade of an alliance) against the regime of Saddam Hussein. President George W. Bush said the war was necessary, because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and it sought to share them with Al Qaeda.
Hussein never had those weapons of mass destruction, nor was he a friend of Sunni terrorists, however, none of these facts matter now, especially after thousands of troop deaths and possibly millions of Iraqi civilian casualties.
For many Iraqis, American freedom would arrive in the shape of a J-dam or an inexpensive burial. The Iraq War will remain one of America's largest foreign policy disasters of all time.
The current indefinite deployment of American troops is a far cry from the original expectations that were set forth by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said 17 years ago that a preemptive war with Iraq would take “five days or five weeks or five months”.
A November 2002 report by ABC News found Rumsfeld insisting that concerns the war would become a quagmire were unfounded:
"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990," he said on an Infinity Radio call-in program.
He said the U.S. military is stronger than it was during the Persian Gulf War, while Iraq's armed forces are weaker.
Rumsfeld was wrong. It is 2019, and the U.S. military is still there.