Some U.S. veterans, who were part of the eight-year U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, are now questioning why they ever went to the troubled Middle East country.
Last week, rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) rolled into Fallujah, Mosul and other Iraqi cities where they robbed banks, opened prisons and destroyed army vehicles, notes The New York Times.
Iran has sent 2,000 troops to Iraq to help keep ISIS out of Baghdad, reports The Guardian, but the Obama administration is weighing its options.
Back in the U.S., American veterans are angry and upset about the sacrifices they made during the war with Iraq.
“You’d be lying if you weren’t sitting at home saying, ‘What the hell was that all for?’” U.S. veteran Joe Dimond told CBS Philadelphia (video below).
“It’s devastating," added Dimond (pictured). "Sure, the blood sweat and tears, but even being away from your family for that long. All the little things that people don’t think about. And you’re saying, ‘For what?’ now.”
“It really is time for Iraq to step up,” added Sam Console, who served with the 28th Infantry Division of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. “And if they’re coming south, let them put everybody they can hold together on the line and push back to the north.”
"In many ways, it just feels like a waste, a waste of many lives, a waste of many years," retired Army Col. Barry Johnson told the Associated Press. "It was clear that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military were not going to be able to sustain themselves and keep the situation from deteriorating."
"We removed the government, the standing army, any way for that country to organize itself," said Matthew Pelak, a former Army sergeant. "So it's a bit tough to just say, 'Hey, let's all play nice in the sand box.'"
"When we pulled out of [Iraq], we left a big power void," stated former Marine Staff Sgt. Marcus Berleson. "We didn't have the country stable on its feet yet. It didn't have a true infrastructure. It didn't have true security forces or a military that was actually willing to stand up and secure the country for itself.
"I think there is no place for the U.S. military right now in there," continued Berleson. "It would further just confuse the situation in an already chaotic environment."