Nine years later the United States withdrew from Iraq. They had failed to convince the Iraqi government to grant special status to American forces, if they remian in Iraq. So nine years, 45,000 Americans killed, 100, 000+ Iraqis killed, tens of thousands wounded, a trillion$ spent, a country largely destroyed, millions displaced and water, electricity, housing, medical care largely missing and a people trying to cope with deprivation and lawlessness. This is the legacy. There is no democray. Yes, elections were held and the Shia(60%) majority control power, but the Sunnis (who had enjoyed power under Saddam) are shut out from power and from the economy, their area largely left unbuilt and the Kurds in the north where a lot of oil is located want their own country. This is a recipe for civil war and it is coming. Iran which had lost the war with Saddam in the 80s, is riding high.
The Americans have withdrawn their military, but there will be between 16,000-17,0000 diplomats, CIA, DEA, contractors etc. remaining in Iraq. In Basra, they are building a giant consulate and in Baghdad, the largest embassy in the world is being built. Iraq is still very important to the Americans. First, there is all that oil and secondly there is Iran, possibly the next target.
Many in the Shia leadership had lived in exile in Iran when Saddam was in power. They speak Parsi and are fellow Shias and have a close relationship with the Iranian regime. Iran is now the regional power and this will not sit lightly with the Americans and its Israeli ally. That is the reason why there have been mounting pressures on Iran and its "nuclear programme". So far China and Russia (India also) are not in favor of additional sanctions. Obama is too busy holding off the Republicans, so expect nothing more drastic from him, unless of course, Iran does or is accused of doing something that can be used to galvanize the country to war (most Americans are war weary and it would take something extra-ordinary to get them war-hooping) and of course help his re-election. Any action therefore, on Iran will be by Israel, but this will be very dangerous
So here we are. Nine years and the situation is more volatile. There is greater uincertainty, greater instability, greater insecurity. Criminal waste.