So said President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday, January 5, 2012. In announcing plans for a leaner military, they put the military back on track of its historical role in defending U.S. interests at home and a broad.
After more than eight years of war and occupation in Iraq at a cost of over a trillion dollars, thousands of U.S. troops killed, and tens of thousands wounded, Iraq is on the precipice of a civil war between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
Iraq is not unique. Democratic nation building is not easy in plural societies.