The Iraq War: Lessons Learned Two Decades Later
In 2003, former US President George W. Bush launched the Iraq war with a speech that called for Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq within 48 hours. The conflict surprised all the soldiers who came to the battlefield, including former British army officer Tim Collins, who was caught off guard when he and his comrades were instructed to abandon their bases and head for dispersal positions. In less than 24 hours, they were crossing the border.
A few months after the start of the war, problems arose regarding strategic plans, such as the dissolution of the Iraqi army. Collins admits to assuming that someone in government had a plan for what would happen once they secured Iraq, but they eventually found out that there was no plan.
Two decades later, war nurse David Hornsby believes that treating wounded soldiers helped make important medical advances. The Iraq conflict led to amazing medical improvements when it comes to traumatic injury care. Hornsby thinks there are possibilities and ongoing discussions between health bodies like the NHS and Ukraine to share lessons learned.
Collins has an important insight into the current situation in Russia. He believes that Russian losses and setbacks could potentially lead to a regime collapse in Moscow. If that occurs, he thinks that the West should collaborate closely with the remnants of the Russian military to maintain peace and stability in the country. Additionally, he wants the West to be prepared to provide the necessary means and financial support to get normal life back up and running as soon as possible, something that wasn’t done in Iraq.
In the end, the lessons learned from the Iraq war can be applied to any situation involving military conflict. One vital lesson is the importance of having a detailed plan for post-conflict reconstruction. Another is the need to be prepared to provide necessary means and financial support to help affected people regain normal life. And perhaps most importantly, it’s necessary to collaborate with and listen to the experiences of military and medical professionals to ensure that important lessons are learned from every conflict.