The Last War—and the Next?

Learning the Wrong Lessons From Iraq

Franco Pagetti / VII / Redux

Earlier this year, the U.S. Army published two volumes that amount to the most comprehensive official history of the Iraq war. They cover the conflict’s most important episodes: the U.S. invasion in 2003, the death spiral into civil war that took shape in the aftermath, the more hopeful period that began with the surge of U.S. forces in 2007, and the withdrawal that saw the last U.S. forces leave Iraq at the end of 2011. Blandly titled The U.S. Army in the Iraq War and based on 30,000 pages of newly declassified documents, the study recounts a litany of …