Ground Truth: Fixing a Failed Policy – Winning in Iraq


Sam Faddis interviews John Maguire, retired senior CIA operations officer, about the situation in Iraq and recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in that country. Maguire is a longtime Middle Eastern operative with extensive experience on the ground in Iraq both as a CIA officer and a private businessman. 

Eighteen years ago we invaded Iraq with the objective of toppling Saddam Hussein. We accomplished that in a matter of months. Why are we still there and what are our objectives? 

Maguire illuminates the problems with our current approach and our overall lack of understanding of what is really happening on the ground. He contrasts that with the Iranian approach, which has been relentless and methodical. The result is that we find ourselves adrift, with our forces exposed to attack and with no clear, long term objectives.

Maguire also highlights, however, the opportunities. We are not simply faced with the prospect of withdrawal. We can still “win” this fight and secure a better, brighter future for Iraq and the entire Middle East. To do so, though, we need to learn the lessons of the past and change course moving ahead.