So, What Went Wrong?

Ever since America's decisive military victory, Iraq has been nothing but trouble. TIME reports on the errors and bad guesses, before and after the war, that got the Bush Administration into this spot

On May 1, off the coast of California, President George W. Bush landed in flying gear on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln — which sported a banner reading MISSION ACCOMPLISHED — and said, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." The war, said Bush, had been carried out "with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before."

But the mission wasn't accomplished then, and it still is not. The reconstruction of Iraq has proved far more difficult than any official assumed it would be. Since...

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