Ten years ago, President George W. Bush sent the U.S. military into Iraq to free its people. A decade later bombs are still ripping through Baghdad–on Tuesday alone, killing 56 people and wounding more than 200. After nine years of war, some 200,000 lives lost and $800 billion dollars spent, is anybody better off?
“Any way you cut it, the decision to go to war in Iraq was a disaster,” former National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said on The Cycle. “It took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and off al Qaeda.”
The Iraq war has imposed a cost on how the American people view the government. According to a recent Gallup poll 53% of Americans believes the country made a mistake sending our troops to fight in Iraq, while 42% believe it was the right call. “The American people lost a lot of faith in their leadership to tell them the truth,” Vietor said, “to make decisions about war and peace based on facts and not misrepresentations of intelligence.”
Hillary Clinton, then a New York senator, voted in favor of the war–a vote that hurt her politically in her 2008 primary campaign against Barack Obama. Will it still be a factor in 2016? “I don’t think it will be a political liability for Secretary Clinton if she decides to run,” Vietor said. “Her career since that vote is so clear and is so extraordinary and so accomplished, I think that people are going to look at that time period far more than they will that vote.”