A brief history of recent US involvement in Iraq

We are just short of the 11th anniversary of President Bush announcing the surge. Iraq long ago faded from the headlines, but it’s been an eventful year, culminating last month with Iraq reclaiming its last piece of ISIS-held territory. It seems like a good time to look back at how the Islamists in Iraq were defeated, re-constituted, and re-defeated:

  • January 2007: President Bush announces surge.
  • January 2007: Barack Obama opposes surge, says it will make matters worse.
  • June 2007: Insurgent attacks peak at 1800 per week.
  • September 2007: General Petraeus reports to Congress that the surge is working. Democrats accuse him of lying.
  • October 2008: Insurgent attacks fall below 400 per week.
  • January 2009: President Obama takes office.
  • November 2009: Insurgent attacks fall below 200 per week.
  • February 2010: Obama administration claims credit for Iraq.
  • December 2011: President Obama withdraws all US troops from Iraq, having made no attempt to negotiate a new status of forces agreement.
  • August 2013: President Obama refuses to act on Iraqi requests for air strikes against ISIS.
  • January 2014: President Obama likens ISIS to a “J.V. team.”
  • May 2014: First ISIS attack outside the Middle East.
  • June 2014: ISIS takes Mosul.
  • June 2014: President Obama sends US troops back into Iraq.
  • October 2014: The New York Times reports on thousands of Saddam-era chemical weapons found in Iraq. Bizarrely, it accuses the Bush administration of covering them up.
  • October 2014: First ISIS attack in the United States injures 3.
  • June 2016: Orlando nightclub attack kills 49.
  • July 2016: Nice truck attack kills 86.
  • August 2016: Obama again fails to bomb ISIS convoy.
  • January 2017: President Trump takes office.
  • May 2017: Secretary Mattis announces new strategy and rules of engagement.
  • July 2017: ISIS defeated in Mosul.
  • October 2017: ISIS defeated in Raqqa, its supposed capital.
  • November 2017: Iraq reclaims its last ISIS-occupied territory.

UPDATE: This is timely.

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