On the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the Center for American Progress will host a panel discussion to assess the impact of the surge of over 30,000 American troops which took place in 2007. Panelists will analyze the impact of the surge on the security situation in Iraq, its effect on Iraq’s political process, the indirect costs of the war, and where the United States should go from here.
They will also discuss the secondary and tertiary reasons behind the recent security improvement, including the Sunni awakening movement, the stand-down of the Mahdi Army by radical cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, and the internal and external displacement of over 5 million Iraqis. With the drawdown of the surge forces already underway, our panel will also consider the effect of the surge on overall U.S. security interests in the Middle East and the indirect costs of the war in Iraq.
In order to maintain over 160,000 troops in Iraq over the last year and a half, the Pentagon has had to introduce 15 month combat tours, instead of the usual 12 month tours.Among the topics the panelists will discuss are the current health of the Army and the toll taken on our servicemen and women and their families. While the result of the surge has yet to be seen, the impact of the escalation on our military and on our men and women in uniform is already apparent.