The US Army Is Trying to Bury the Lessons of the Iraq War
U.S. troops are still in Iraq — not to mention Syria, Afghanistan, and various African countries — to ward off or put down insurgencies. Within the national security apparatus, however, the Iraq War is old news.
As has been explained to me by senior officers who are still on active duty, the conventional wisdom today is that our military has moved on — and in an odd redux, they note that we have returned to the philosophy of 1973. Similar to how the Pentagon abandoned its doctrine of fighting counterinsurgencies and irregular conflicts in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, today’s military has shifted away from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of preparing to fight insurgents and guerrillas, our security establishment has refocused almost exclusively on the realm of great power conflict — in their parlance, peer or near-peer competitors such as Russia or China.