Despite a loathing by the media to declare it such, the Iraq wars are effectively over, and we won. The first war was the second invasion of Iraq where U.S. conventional forces deposed Saddam Hussein, killed his heirs, and defeated his military in 2003. We won that one quickly. The second war, an asymmetrical conflict with al Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni insurgent groups, emerged from the rubble of the conventional conflict as a media war, where seemingly random IED strikes and vicious terrorist bombings that killed dozens at a time sought to create chaos and defeat the U.S and Iraqi will to win.
I hasten to add that this war was in many ways effective, turning the majority of Americans against the conflict and a President who refused to surrender to terrorism. Despite some serious political and military mistakes, new U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine combined with a Sunni rebellion known as the Awakening Movement to stomp out or co-opt the last significant vestiges of the insurgency. Together as allies, Americans and Iraqis have won this war as well. What remains are isolated terrorists committing regrettable and ultimately pointless attacks of violence that can no longer significantly influence the course of history.
The third war, fought concurrently with the Sunni insurgency, was a proxy war pitting the Shia government and it's coalition backers against EFP-equipped, Iranian-trained Shia militias for the control of Iraq's Shia majority. This was won earlier this year when Iraqi forces commanded by the Prime Minister and backed by American units stormed de facto Iranian strongholds throughout southern Iraq, killing or capturing hundreds of pro-Iranian militiamen and effectively neutering Muqtada al Sadr's Medhi Army.
Like all counterinsurgencies, we couldn't easily see at the time when these foes were effectively finished as a long-term threat, but with the benefit of hindsight and ever-dwindling casualty figures for all sides, it is obvious that the war Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats tried so hard to lose in Congress was won in the sands of al Anbar, the slums of Basra, and the streets of Baghdad.
The Iraq War, as men on the ground on all sides of the conflict will tell you, is over, and we—Americans and Iraqis together— won the right for the Arab world's first democracy to exist despite fierce internal and external opposition.
Two years ago this war was lost.
The American public was tired of the daily bombings and the reports of death. Thanks to the efforts of the media and continual pounding from Democratic Party members America was ready to give up on this front and quit. America was told was the worst foreign policy decision in its history. Some believed this was the worst slaughter of American lives in history. Some even scoffed at the genocide that would occur if we left. America no longer understand why victory was essential or why war was called war. The images of Saddam Hussein being pulled out of a spider hole were a distant memory.
America had lost its will to fight.
But, President George W. Bush would not accept defeat.
Despite the best efforts of Democrats and their partners in the media, President Bush understood what was best for this country and what was best for Iraq and the Middle East.
A new fighting plan with a surge of troops was organized.
A new general named Petraeus was put in charge.
America would finish the fight and bring democracy to Iraq.
President Bush would give it one last try.
Today, the rest is history.