Winning the Peace in Iraq

Don’t Give Up on Baghdad’s Fragile Democracy

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Reuters

For Americans who came of age near the turn of the current century, the war in Iraq was a generation-defining experience. When the United States invaded the country in 2003, toppling the government of Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks, many saw the war as a necessary or even noble endeavor to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam was allegedly developing—and bring democracy to parts of the world that had long suffered under the weight of tyranny.  By the time U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, such illusions had been shattered. The conflict had cost …