From Iraq to Ukraine: Reflections on "wars of choice"
In their discussion on GZERO World, Ian Bremmer and NBC's chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, delve into the lessons that can be gleaned from the Iraq war in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Engel's key takeaway is to avoid “a war of choice,” as resistance from the invaded people can make the situation worse.
Drawing parallels with Iraq, he notes that “Ukraine is also a war of choice for Russia,” despite the perception of an existential crisis. Unlike Iraq, the situation in Ukraine has a clear narrative of one country trying to occupy another.
When asked about how the Iraqi people are doing 20 years after the war, Engel notes that there is no easy answer. While the people are now "freer" and the "economy is connected to the world," the country has experienced ongoing instability and a civil war. Although Iraq has made strides since the days of Saddam's regime, they are not yet fully functioning or embraced by the larger Middle East. Engel cautions, "I don't think they've landed yet."
Watch the GZERO World episode: Iraq War's legacy: Loss of lives, rise of ISIS, & political turmoil