What General Kelly feels about Iraq, 10 years later

Gen. John Kelly was an assistant division commander in 2003 when the Iraq war started. He returned in 2008 as commanding general of Multinational Force-West, which included al-Anbar province. Pictured above, Kelly signed over security control of the province to Iraqi forces. At the Pentagon on Wednesday, this was his answer to what his feelings were, as the war’s 10-year anniversary passes.

“I don’t know, I was there right now, I think I was just pulling into Nasiriyah this time 10 years ago. I’d just been promoted to one-star. I was driving by some vehicles in Nasiriyah, I remember seeing these bodies burned beyond recognition. I thought they were Iraqis, come to find out they were Jessica Lynch’s unit there.

“I think -- we’ll let the historians and the rest of them make the decisions. I just think that we fought -- we went there for the right reason, we fought the war honorably. A couple million young Americans that went there did their duty to their country. Left four or five thousand behind. So I think, their legacy is just that -- you know, we don’t start ‘em, we just fight ‘em. And I think those boys and girls did a real good job fighting that war. And who knows how it’ll turn out, so long as it’s Iraqi-good enough, it’ll still be better than what they had under Saddam.”


Wathiq Khuzaie /Getty Images

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