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Reflections on the Iraq invasion of March, 2003
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To mark tomorrow's fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, some United States experts on military and foreign affairs comment on the war, reflecting their own attitudes.

Anthony D. Cordesman

A fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

In fairness to the Bush administration, I did not expect that we would discover no meaningful activity in rebuilding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and no Iraqi ties to al-Qaida.

In balance, however, the most serious surprise was that what appeared to be the American A-Team in national security ignored years of planning and months of interagency activity before the war, and the US had no meaningful plan for stability operations and nation building after the defeat of Saddam Hussein's armed forces.

It was even more of a surprise to watch the Bush administration fail, from 2003 to 2006, to come to grips with creating effective counter-insurgency programs, focused aid and development efforts, political accommodation and effective Iraqi forces.

Anne-Marie Slaughter

The dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton

In April 2003, just after US troops secured Baghdad, some people looted the Iraqi national museum. American soldiers nearby made no effort to stop them, much less provide a guard. We either did not have enough soldiers to protect the museum, or we did not care enough to try.

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