Tag Archives: Dexter Filkins

As we send ‘advisors’ back to Iraq . . .

Dexter Filkins* today.

In 2003, when American troops first rolled into Baghdad, they destroyed the Iraqi state and its institutions; for the next eight and a half years they tried to build something to replace it. The truth is that the political system imposed on the Iraqis has never worked very well without substantial U.S. involvement; since the Americans left, it hasn’t worked at all. American diplomats and military advisers can’t save Iraq and they can’t govern it, but the decision by President Obama to return to Iraq amounts to a recognition that there was work left unfinished. It’s likely to be a long and difficult job

*Filkins reported from the onset of Iraq War in March of 2003 through 2006.  In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of New York Times reporters in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His book recounting those years – Forever War – is stunning and should be read by anyone who wants to see our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan up close. Reviews almost universally described it as a classic in the tradition of witness, a true account from the type of war correspondent rarely seen these days.

LA Times said it “is likely to be regarded as the definitive account of how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were experienced by those who actually waged them.” That’s about right.

War news is great this week!

Yeah for us!! We’re getting those numbers up in Afghanistan; that must mean we’re trying harder, yes?  August is now the month with the very mostest US troop fatalities in The Forever War*.

But that’s not all – this new report from the Wartime Contracting Commission chronicles the $60 billion we’ve wasted over the last ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A staggering $12 million squandered every day for the last 10 years — that was among the findings the Wartime Contracting Commission uncovered in more than two years of investigating war-related spending since 2001.

Good news all around and there’s even more! Today is the 329th day of the tenth year of the war in Afghanistan.  Think that’s all? Wait for it . . . . only 6 more days till the eleventh year!

Records falling everywhere in WarWorld. USA! USA! USA!