Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
August 19th, 2010
09:54 AM ET

Winding Down the War

The last full U.S. combat brigade is heading home from Iraq. Members of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the border into Kuwait early this morning. The move comes more than seven years after the U.S. invaded Iraq. The Pentagon says 4,406 American troops have died in the Iraq war. According to Iraq Body Count, 106,146 civilians have died.
 That’s where we want you to weigh in. Was it worth it?

Leave us a comment. We’ll share some of them on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am ET — 1p ET.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    American freedom is priceless our country is still free so it was worth it .

    August 19, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  2. Alex Lo

    For some it was worth it for the casualties it wasn't. I was shopping at Walmart and a cashier whose head was wrapped in a scarf told me it was worth it. Later to find out she was from Iraq and won the immigrant lottery to come here to live. She was very happy. No it was not worth our soldiers lives and time. It never is. We should ask this question of our ex President and the Congress and Senate who voted to invade Iraq. it could be somewhat worth it if we exacted reparations and low priced oil from Iraq for the next 12 years. Or is that too sensible? We went there to teach them Democracy and we can't even govern ourselves in Washington these days. We should not ever consider going back there if violence breaks out after we leave.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  3. toby

    the war in Iraq will be worth it when they start building McDonalds and playing video games.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  4. Julie

    N – O!!!! No, it was not worth it. If we had been patient and let the UN Inspectors finish their work, the UN would have dealt with Sadam Hussein. This is ridiculous that while our economy started sliding that we were funneling so much money into that country and lost so many of our brave military personnel. What a pathetic waste of our resources and lives!

    August 19, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  5. toby

    As a veteran of the war in Iraq, I don't think the job has been finished. I feel that the war would be a success if the people of Iraq would be able to see eachother as fellow Iraqis instead of killing eachother because they are Kurds, Sunni, and Shia. They are all Muslim so get along!

    August 19, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  6. Egberto Willies

    First of all this debate does not involve our soldier’s performance. They did what the civilian leaders told them to do and as such they performed impeccably. Their sacrifice for mission including many of my own friends cannot be underestimated.

    That said, the war in Iraq was definitely not worth it. We are not leaving the average Iraqi citizen with a daily life better than they had before. “Democracy” for the sake of Democracy is not worth it if your current state of being is more miserable than it was before with no real expectation that it will improve in a lifetime.

    While we do not want to talk about it, this war has wiped out the lives of many American and Iraqi families and diverted monies that should have been used to rebuild America’s infrastructure and education systems. Altogether we wasted over a trillion dollars to blow things up in another country, rebuild another country, and in the process make a select few corporations extremely profitable, all with American tax dollars and deficit spending.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  7. Melissa Betancourt

    Considering the resources, both financial and human, that were deployed to execute Bush's unjust allegations and mission, I do not believe that our efforts have been worth it. The United States cannot coherce other cultures into adapting our Demoractic idealogies. Poverty has escalated in these regions along with instability. These people are no safer today as a result of our efforts. Their countries are more vulnerable, with limited capabilities to protect and govern themselves, effectively. The loss life on all sides, both military and civilian, continues to escalate in numbers. While casulaties of war are to be expected, at what point does it end or should it end? How many lives have to be lost before someone wakes up and decides that the "cause" is no longer supportable or justified? We have created further chaos and uncertainty for many of these people and we have offerred no permanent set of solutions. We have managed to create a new volatile environment designed to breed more corruption, of which the world has seen enough.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  8. Stewart Sifakis

    Absolutely not. I was opposed to it before you went in. Where's the WMD? Where's the $$$ from oil to pay for the war? Where's your reputation in the world? Your soldiers have become occupiers. I can't support them. My great grandparents were murdered by occupiers. Your network does not appear to be a news source but merely cheer leaders for them.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  9. Sarah

    Was it worth it. As a military spouse, I've watched many friends send their husbands off to Iraq and Afghanistan, and know first-hand the sacrifice our government requires of both the military member and his/her family. The military is a loyal institution, and I hear few people, on or off the base, openly criticize either war. To us, yes, it was worth it because as spouses we understand this is all part of the military's job description. Plus neither we, nor our husbands, have any choice in the matter.

    But was it necessary. To this, a resounding "no." If you look at the war-torn history of both Iraq and Afghanistan, several nations have attempted to conquer these regions over the years. In the case of Afghanistan, each and every major power (Britain in particular) came out bloodied and defeated by the warlike, resilient local tribes. Did we look at history before starting these conflicts? Apparently not. Unsurprisingly, we have lost over four thousand of our own brave men and women in these wars. The government asks, the military must respond. Do the politicians who declare war even think about the 18, 19, 20-year-olds who have to give their lives so Washington can say, "we've won!"

    The war is so far from over. And what the government is asking of the over-deployed, over-strained, over-worked military is completely unsustainable. The military, national guard, and reserve units who have put up with tediously long deployments simply can't be expected to survive at this rate. Our men and women in uniform are burned out. Their families are burned out (one look at the divorce rate will tell you that.) Many of these troops we watch coming home today will turn right around in a few months and head to Afghanistan, where the fight is only intensifying. Where more lives will be lost. Is that worth it?

    August 19, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  10. annica2

    what a lie! there are still 50,000 troops there! only a zombie would believe this propaganda.

    August 19, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  11. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    We went to war because the middle east concluded that the American people were infidels and decided to teach America a lessen by killing thousands of our people while they were at work making ends meat to feed there families if the Muslim people wants to blame someone then blame your Ben Lauden because if it were not for him we would not be there .

    August 19, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  12. Jenny Wilson

    NO! We should never have gone in there in the first place...and I hope the public remembers who did this – GEORGE W. BUSH – and there is no doubt in my mind he knew there were not WMD. He wanted a feather in his cap ....He has the blood of over 4,000 military who died there on his hands.

    BUT I'm so excited to see all the troops coming home...we owe those men and women so much who have gone over there not only once, but several times...I don't know how they do it. I hope they get at least a year off before they have to go to Afghanastan! Yes, we need to fight those who did us harm on 9/11 – and will continue to do us harm...but do it where it counts...because of Bush's actions – while in Iraq ignoring Afghanastan – the war there will probably take more time.

    Thank you President Obama for bringing an END TO THIS IRAQ FIASCO! And, God bless you each day and you lead the United States of America.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  13. Tommy Taylor

    Tony, The white House has not learned from thier past mistakes, even the small community banks are not going to release this money that they will get from the goverment, they will hold on to it just like the big banks did. The only way to stimulate the economy is for the goverment to give the money directly to the small buisness owner in the form of a low intress loan and make it easy for the small buisness to get it, and the small buisness will be able to sell thier product to the people at a cheaper price and hire more people. Stop giving the banks money, they are only getting richer off the backs of the American people. That is what got us into this mess in the first place, how short is our memories.

    August 19, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  14. LaNita Herlem, Proud Widow of SFC Bryant A. Herlem

    I am not sure what all the hype and hoop-la is about. My husband's unit leaves for Iraq next month and they are a combat brigade. I have to agree that this is all just a propaganda move. We have had a major draw-down in troops but that does not mean combat is over in Iraq. If anything we have left the Iraqi people and our troops vulnerable to attacks. I believe we are leaving too soon.

    I lost my husband, and in so many ways my own life, to an IED attack in Iraq so I intimately know the cost of this war. We have been told there were no WMDs but I know widows who lost their husbands after they were exposed to "something" in Iraq. We have been told this war was George W. Bush's personal war and that we were "manipulated", but I have been assured there is much we may never be told, but it is justified. But most important to me, the night before he left, my husband quietly told me, he did not want to go because he did not believe in this war. Afghanistan yes, Iraq no. About four months into his deployment, he said I know why we are here. We need to be here. He wanted to be there and he promised to talk to me about everything when he came home for R&R. He was killed a month later and I never found out why he had changed his mind. But it does not matter. He believed the US had a reason to be there and that is enough for me.

    I support the efforts in Iraq and I pray this draw-down is not a mistake.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  15. Mr. Eister

    Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. 3 UNDECLARED wars the U.S. has LOST. I say that the next of the never ending UNDECLARED wars the U.S. wages, that the 'POLITICIANS' who talk big with other peoples lives, and who have never served a day of their miserable lives in our countries military pick up an M-16 and LEAD THE CHARGE THEMSELVES BEFORE ANY American life is lost to THEIR whims and fanatical desires to INVADE AND CONQUER other countires under the guise of freedom and protecting Americans, or the frivolous term called 'National Security'.

    August 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  16. Angie

    "Mission Accomplished!" Bush said. Then he added that our troops will be winding down and come home.

    That was when? Oh yeah 2003.

    Here we are finally sending most, not all troops home. The rest will be continuing the training.

    "What training?" you ask. The training that the Bush administration said that our troops and advisors were doing since 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!'

    That is a long time for training.

    Well my brother, a marine, had just months of training before he was sent to Viet Nam.

    My daughter had just months of training before she was sent to Iraq.

    My 5 uncles, my father and father in-law all had just a month of training before they were sent to war in WWII.

    2003 till now, mission accomplished, training Iraqi police and military and yet they are still not trained? Wow.

    I know we as Americans are not the brightest in the world, but please don't take us for fools.

    August 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  17. Scooter

    Tony love your show..voice & Grace..very calming even in scary "new's" stuff...
    I'm so glad troups are home BUT sooo worried, My X was in Viet Nam..key word X. I hope the men can adjust..& will have JOBS? Unemploymnet sooo down..they neeed something productive to keep theire brain's & heart's busy...

    August 19, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  18. KIKE = Rick

    WE ARE HUMAPHOBICS! The reason "Ignorance" = FEAR. We are calling everything with a lot of negative energy, PHOBICS! WE are living on the fear era in the United States created by the United States. We do not understand it, Demonized! " Put it in the microwave zap 30 second later is done! "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; Because, if there is one, he must more approve of the Homage of Reason, than that of "Blind-Folded Fear" – Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826

    August 20, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  19. KIKE = Rick

    WE ARE HUMAPHOBICS! The reason "Ignorance" = FEAR. We are calling everything with a lot of negative energy, PHOBICS! WE are living on the fear era in the United States created by the United States. We do not understand it, Demonized! " Put it in the microwave zap 30 second later is done! The final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the commonhuman in eternal "Subjection". "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; Because, if there is one, he must more approve of the Homage of Reason, than that of "Blind-Folded Fear" – Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826

    August 20, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  20. Al Dixie

    The war was not worth it. The only good thing about it is that Sadam Hussain and his family are gone. It was not worth the thousands of americans killed or wounded.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  21. Chris

    Having spent six months in Iraq between the two wars, I know firsthand that the effort was worth it. I met so many Kurds who were free from the prospect of being murdered by the Hussein regime for the first time and, despite still living in tough conditions, were grateful for the chance to be free and live. Every day I met people crossing over into Turkey who dropped by to tell us stories of the horrors of Saddam's regime. I don't care if they had WMD's or not. Removing Saddam was the right thing to do.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  22. Vilery Clause

    We were sold a "Used War", GB Jr had to redeem his fathers' honor.
    The war was a bad investment, it cost trillions and the people we were looking for were in Afganistan.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  23. Louis Wesler

    Hey Tony

    I watch cnn and you daily thank you1 But for my comment:

    The lasty time GOD spoke to the "xchosen people" from a flaming BUSH. the chosen people spent 40 years in the desert! Welcome to Iraq!

    August 20, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  24. Tom Jackson

    The invasion and occupation of Iraq is probably the greatest blunder in US history; a president lied, no WMDs, the 'mission accomplished' embarrassment, thousands killed in the WRONG PLACE. Had we devoted these resources in Afghanistan where the September 11 attacks originated, we would have clobbered the Taliban for good, there would not be the current instability in the Middle East, we would have saved the lives of over 4,000 American service personel, the $3 trillion cost would not have sunk the US economy, the world of Islam would not have the hate now present, and we would have had Bin Laden in irons to answer for these crimes. Mr Cheney and Mr Bush will now write their memoirs – how will they respond to these truths?
    Tom in the Great NW

    August 20, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  25. Priscilla

    We all need to support all of the troops who served in Iraq and the families of those who gave their lives. They answered our countries call and served bravely. Many of their lives will never be the same. Was it worth it? A war based on lies and false information, absolutely not. Lives have been lost and forever changed and the American people and the world were lied to in order to get the US involved. But we must make sure that the troops are never blamed. Our returning troops must never be treated like the Vietnam Vets were.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  26. thomas brittain

    I'm glad for the boys but all of this was unessersery this war has sent our economy into ruin and it may take decades to catch up if ever. I would like for you to tell the story of the iraqs people what has happened to them. How many had to leave their homes to other countries, how many are slepping in tents. How are they better of and HOW ARE THEY WORST OFF> Now that would be a story.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  27. Girard

    The Iraq war was a travesty. Until we invaded Kuwait, Sadam Hussein was never our enemy and, indeed, cooperated with us on most occassions. We fought the war to secure the world's oil supply and to protect Israel from eventual injvasion. By doing so we identified ourselves as the world's policemen.
    We killed thousands of innocent women and children with our bombs, made countless enemies, drained our treasury (causing a recesssion) and lost 4,400 troops – all for nothing.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  28. Gil Crook


    In the long span of history the effort in Iraq may prove beneficial. However, if the total effort we applied to Iraq would have been spent in Afganistan we could have established a solid partnership nation in the area. This would have allowed pressure to be placed on Iraq's dictator and perhaps we could have brought down that government without the loss of life and treasure we expended in that eight year war.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  29. susan coakley

    We all know Iraq was a big mistake , my question is being our Military didn't make the big bucks like the sub contractors did who were over in Iraq . What was the actual pay to our Military verses the subcontractors. I bet the sub contractors made MILLIONS and our Military make scrap change

    Will we only have Military in Afghanistan or will the Sub contractors make a lot of money on Afghanistan like they did in Iraq. I also feel Afghanistan is another waster war..
    Susan Coakley
    Margate, Fl

    August 20, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  30. Ron

    Bush had it right; the only way we can defeat radical Muslims (with no hope for a better life) is by changing their focus from getting 72 virgins to having a new pickup, a better education for their kids etc. The only likely way that is going to happen is via a growing democracy. If in the next 10 to 30 years Iraq is the envy of the Arab world because of the standard of living of its population at large, then the war will have been a success. If not, and if the county has regressed back to tribal warfare, or worse yet into the hands of Al Qaeda, then it will have failed.

    August 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  31. Don

    Zachary Richard stand up with his friends musical to Louisiana for the families, some people are lost their jobs in the disaster of gulf mexico. people want of answers of government why a cloud of oil fears in the depth of gulf discover by the sicientists. the beaches are closed the animals are in danger for of long time and also with of deformation to long term, we're really up against it but it's very difficult for us now.The words of Franklin Graham, the religion of president Obama are not of problem for me and so many parents who want of help for their kids the much more important i hope the jobs coming back.

    August 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  32. Soldier

    Nothing has changed or will change after Aug 19, 2010 operations wise here in Iraq. The withdrawal of "combat troop" is a political phrase made to gain public opinion. Whether you deploy a unit under the term Brigade Combat Team (BCT) or Advise and Assist Brigade (AAB) does not change the units manning on the ground. The weapons are the same, the procedures are the same and the Soldiers are the same. Ask your government to stop lying to the American public. August 20, 2010 the day after "combat" troops left Iraq, numerous units came under fire to include complex attacks and ambushes. The FIGHTING has not stopped and American Soldiers are still dying weekly. A average combat patrol (yes i said combat patrol because that is what it is) consists of a Iraqi Police truck with two Iraqi Police following the US convoy in the rear and drive around the city for hours waiting to get blown up by an IED or RPG. Thanks Mr. Government for lying to the public while Soldiers are dying over here!

    August 21, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  33. george

    worth going or not?"is it worth our interests?"
    it was worth plenty to large American oil companies to secure a vital resource, and I also see in a future horizon ether venture on behave of our influential, manipulative large American dip bucket oil companies the an encouragement of government an invasion of Iran, why you may think?answer is sample, huge oil and gas reserve to be gain.

    August 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  34. Linda in Dumfries

    If a thief invades your home in the middle of the night, overtakes your family and burns your house down, is the pursuit to avenge their deaths worth it? I opposed the war, but America did what she had to do to heal and restore. Any parent who has had to grieve a child lost to war has to feel the worthlessness of it all. I weep the sacrifice. I'm deeply grateful for the willingness. I feel safer.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  35. Ray


    In my opinion, the better questions should be asked of the regimes on the left and right of Iraq, as to the future of the country. Syria is Suni, while Iran is Shia, and the fact remains that Civil war with a giant de-stabilization of the region is a real truth and a reality that is going to happen, as soon as we (the U.S.) get out of the country entirely. Attacks on the U.S. Military are targets-of-opportunity now, attacks on the Iraqi Government personnel are primary targets, with a front page result of showing how unstable and unsecure the region really is. In my opinion, the Sunni population, which is more militant than the majority Shia population, is going to land a hard strike on the Shia government personnel, and from there, the Iraqi Army will dissolve into Sectarian Civil War.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  36. carl

    about ethnics. did you know that native americans cannot own their own land. the usa does. all those people who saw the lady liberty own their land. open this for commentary PLEASE.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  37. MarionOrtizKittelson-Villanueva


    Too much time is spent looking to colors-black,white,brown. We shoiuld celebrate life and enjoy the diversity. We so very rich in each other.
    Our energies should be directed to the similarities amongst us. Man celebrates life and expresses himself in the humanities-dance,music,art,religion,literature,history Enjoy learning about one another
    Here in Hawaii, we celebrate the diversity of culturesWe dance to thesalsa,hula,bon,chicken,line,etc.. Celebrate Life.

    August 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  38. Adejumo Oyeleye

    is not worth it to kill a single Soul for Freedom because, the Sacrifised Soul for a Freedom will never rest untill the source of its dead pays back then, there will be Freedom on that Land because, i love every single Soul of Our Children!
    I am the JAH!
    My Lovely LISA and Myself,
    WE Love you all,
    Our Children!!!
    I am the JAH!

    August 24, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  39. Mark Hanson

    As foreigners on distant lands watch us during this our summer of discontent, they are probably asking themselves: "Who do the Americans hate more, the Moslems or the Mexicans?"

    August 25, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  40. Rick

    Tony.. When you was displaying how 33 people in that small confined place.. You have to ask yourself.. How do they sleep if they all lay down to sleep? Do they sleep in shifts? Where do they poop and pee? Just a few questions of interests..

    August 25, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  41. Gene Lucas

    If the goal was to keep Iraqi oil off the market, it worked. Otherwise, it was a total failure. And I wish you had mentioned all the horribly injured – on both sides.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm |