Seven years later — and five years after invading a country that had no connection to 9/11, didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, and had no ties to Al Qaeda — the outgoing U.S. Commander says we’ll never declare victory in Iraq.
The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.
…In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Gen Petraeus said that when he took charge in Iraq “the violence was horrific and the fabric of society was being torn apart”.
A handing over ceremony by US troops to the Iraqi military at a base in Baghdad (09/09/08)
Gen Petraeus said the Iraqis were standing up as US forces stood down
Leaving his post, he said there were “many storm clouds on the horizon which could develop into real problems”.
Overall he summed up the situation as “still hard but hopeful”, saying that progress in Iraq was “a bit more durable” but that the situation there remained fragile.
He said he did not know that he would ever use the word “victory”: “This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade… it’s not war with a simple slogan.”
[Photo via James Gordon @ Flickr]