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This tenth anniversary of the beginning.
All of the war in Iraq we are delighted -- -- -- be joined by ambassador John and a group on do you want to -- -- the first US ambassador to post war.
ambassador thank you very much for being with -- -- -- on the hunt.
-- -- -- -- Not festival -- else would -- I guess it's a very simple question it probably has a very complex sounds.
Is Iraq better off now than it -- that this day ten years ago.
I would say yes basically have a tyrants was removed from power.
And Iraq now has.
A democracy -- Going through some rough patch is that it is democratic former government's.
And I think that most Iraqis would tell you we're pleased that we came in and got rid of everything.
-- that simple question within probably an equally complex onset.
The walls it -- the cost of American lives and the cost of those.
Who served and well were in so many cases so badly wounded.
Well I think that there is a cut that answer becomes a bit more complex but I think that the first thing I would say.
Is our military -- acquitted themselves magnificently.
They carried out -- the orders of their commander in chief they performed.
Extraordinarily well and I don't think.
That our military has ever.
At a higher level of proficiency on what they learned as a consequence of the Iraq War.
I think is very very important just one example.
I don't think that without all the efforts that they've made against al-Qaeda.
That our special operations forces would have been as well prepared.
To kill Osama bin Laden as they did a number of years later.
-- ambassador if if -- union who now.
If you knew then -- we know now.
About the lack cup all of weapons of mass destruction they in Iraq there.
The lack of any direct link to the attacks -- 9/11 would you still some -- the decision to go.
Into Iraq well I was cautious at the time I was one of those.
I was not up.
Opposed to going into Iraq as much as I was favoring giving him more time I had been involved -- spend a lot of time negotiating.
The inspection resolution at the United Nations and I thought we should give that.
Process the whole process of international inspections.
To work its way through so to speak so I thought.
Between the time we pass that resolution that the UN.
Late in 2000.
And true and the time we went into Iraq in early 2003.
Was -- short a time.
To allow the inspection process to work that was my view.
Possibly ambassador to summarize.
-- in in any meaningful way.
The effect that the Iraq War had on the reputation.
All of the United States around the world.
Well -- I would say that it was.
I think we suffered.
As a result of the decision.
For for the following recent.
We went into Iraq.
Without the legitimate rating imprint my tour.
A United Nations resolution you will recall we had that debate about a second resolution.
We could not get enough votes you need nine out of the fifteen members of the Security Council had no need to those by the permanent members.
And we could not get.
A second resolution passed that would authorize us.
To go into Iraq so we paid a political price both in the United Nations and around the world but I would that.
That after we went and we had a tremendous cooperation from the international community indeed.
-- post invasion phase of our involvement in Iraq and we have a lot of countries participate with us and that continued could be.
-- subject under the cognizance.
Of the united nations security -- Don't believe that ambassador that you could -- sort of Cole is an effect line up from a the invasion of Iraq to the Arab Spring and the the protest movements that we have seen springing up across.
The Middle East over the last two to three years.
That is -- I mean they're really great question.
I think you could.
-- my -- that you can draw that line.
No I'm not read I don't think it's -- -- To make that connection.
ambassador if I let you go.
The war itself but I as I sit here now well alongside my colleague Rick Leventhal both of us.
-- in Iraq I wanted to pick up on the point you made before that.
-- want to have a long thinks politically of the -- it is impossible.
Not to have great admiration for those who said that not just.
In uniform but those who served.
Under the State Department all the reconstruction teams etc.
This this was these were heroic this was expeditionary.
Diplomacy as well as military activity.
At its best people -- gave it they're all.
Something to work the -- didn't.
When I got to Iraq it was I've been asked by general Powell was and the secretary of state to review our reconstruction program.
And I concluded that not enough was being invested.
In the Iraqi Security Forces in the development of their police.
-- so we re directed a lot of -- to that I think today.
The Iraqi military and their beliefs are in a position to maintain security in the country.
Well one of the lessons of Iraq if you're asking the question are we going to do something like this again.
And I would say probably not for a long time the idea of the United States mounting.
And expeditionary force -- -- 100000 people ago.
To some -- on part of the world to engage in nation building and pacification in counterinsurgency.
Our country has decided as well probably reach a conclusion it doesn't want to do that again and we're gonna have to find more.
Or surgical -- you well.
More low -- low profile.
Ways -- intervening in foreign countries.
-- ambassador John -- -- -- pleasure and -- told to you sir and thank you for your service.
You -- I.
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