March 20, 2023

ICYMI: Congressman Moulton Reflects on 20th Anniversary of the Start of the Iraq War & “Missed Opportunities”

Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. marks two decades since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA-06) is reflecting on his experiences serving four tours as a Marine there — and the complicated legacy of those years.

This weekend, Congressman Moulton was profiled on the front page of the Boston Globe in a piece titled Twenty years after the start of the Iraq War, Seth Moulton reflects on a generation shaped by the conflict.”

In the new interview, Moulton tells the Globe:

“What I actually think is most tragic about the Iraq War is the massive missed opportunity that we had as a country to do something great when we had the entire world behind us [after September 11], and instead, we used all that political capital, all that international will, to invade a country… It was a massive failure of leadership and intelligence to not ask the basic questions more carefully.”

Moulton led a frontline infantry platoon in the first Marine company to enter Baghdad. He later worked to establish a free and independent Iraqi media, and served as a liaison to senior Iraqi military and political leaders for General Petraeus.  He was, and still is, an outspoken critic of the war.

Moulton also sat down with Bloomberg’s Joe Mathieu recently for a candid discussion about his experience serving despite opposing the war itself.

“One of the hardest questions I have ever gotten in my life was when eighteen-year-old Americans looked at me—their twenty-four-year-old platoon commander saying ‘sir, why are we here?’” He recalled: “I didn’t defend the policy. I reminded them that we’re here so that their friends and loved ones don’t have to.”