What I got wrong about the Iraq war

I was going to write this a while back, but here it is. I was on the fence about it at the time, but history did not to wait for me to reach a position.

What I was wrong about with regard to Iraq (2003 assumptions)

  • I thought we would have over 10,000 military deaths by this point.
  • I thought the war would take about a year of heavy fighting.
  • I thought it would be over after that year
  • I thought the Sunni-Shia split would not play out as it has, rather that it would stay at or around the 2004 level
  • I thought we would have much more negative blowback – for all of the shouting and protests, not much has really happened on that front
  • I thought we would have found at least chemical weapons (in large quantities)
  • I did not think that Kurdistan would turn out as well as it has
  • I thought Turkey would have intervened in some form by now
  • I thought al Qaida would have benefited more, it seems that they have been hurt (in terms of their ideological appeal) by the Iraq war (more on that later)
  • I did not think that we would still have this many troops (fighting) at this point.
  • I thought that there would be much more conventional combat, and much less of this gang warfare
  • I thought that the Iraqis would have scored at least three major wins (surprise attacks in some fashion) in the scores of battles that have happened since the war began. They don’t seem to have won any against American troops.

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