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Cpl. Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, covers the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag before toppling it in downtown in Baghdad on Wednesday, April 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File

Analysis & Opinions - Sydney Morning Herald

The Monstrous Strategic Mistake That Took Us to War in Iraq

| Mar. 20, 2018

John Howard’s decision to commit thousands of Australian troops to the invasion of Iraq 15 years ago ranks as one of the two great failures of Australian foreign policy since the Second World War.

The other is Menzies’ decision to send forces to Vietnam. Both cases represented an abysmal failure of Australian political leadership, driven by an unnecessary capitulation to strategically foolhardy decisions by the US administrations of the time.

Both decisions were taken without independent Australian analysis of the legitimacy of American war aims, the credibility of American military strategy to both win the war and secure the peace, as well as the long-term consequences for Australian national interests.