“The most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it's carried out.”— Then-Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Neb, responding in January, 2007, to President George W. Bush’s plan to send a “surge” of 30,000 U.S. troops to Iraq. Nonetheless, the troops went. Under the command of General David Petraeus, they would help reverse the chaos bordering on civil war then enveloping the country, following the U.S. invasion three years before. Hagel is among the top candidates to succeed Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.
1. Chaos that the U.S. created
2. The objective of the surge was political reconciliation -- didn't happen
3. Petraeus mainly (A) purged Baghdad of Sunnis (B) then put them on the payroll
4. Many of those Sunnis are now the al-Qaeda fighters that the U.S. is stymied (outflanked) by in Syria
5. Iraq, now an ally of Iran and Syria, is still in chaos