Frontline (1983– )
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Losing Iraq 

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From PBS and FRONTLINE: FRONTLINE examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq and how the U.S. is being pulled back into the conflict. Drawing on interviews with policymakers and military leaders,... See full summary »


Michael Kirk



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Will Lyman ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Peter Baker Peter Baker ... Himself - Author, Days of Fire
Thomas Ricks ... Himself - Author, Fiasco
George W. Bush ... Himself - President (archive footage)
Barack Obama ... Himself - President (archive footage)
Douglas Ollivant Douglas Ollivant ... Himself - Iraq Director, NSC
Ryan Crocker Ryan Crocker ... Himself - U.S. Ambassador to Iraq
Stephen Hadley Stephen Hadley ... Himself - Bush National Security Advisor
Brian McCoy Brian McCoy ... Himself - Colonel, USMC
Rajiv Chandrasekaran Rajiv Chandrasekaran ... Himself - Author, Imperial Life in the Emerald City
Barbara Bodine Barbara Bodine ... Herself - Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance
Steve Casteel Steve Casteel ... Himself - Advisor to Interior Ministry
R. Alan King R. Alan King ... Himself - Colonel, U.S. Army
John Burns John Burns ... Himself - Reporter, The New York Times
Anthony H. Cordesman Anthony H. Cordesman ... Himself - Center for Strategic and International Studies


From PBS and FRONTLINE: FRONTLINE examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq and how the U.S. is being pulled back into the conflict. Drawing on interviews with policymakers and military leaders, the film traces the U.S. role from the 2003 invasion to the current violence, showing how Iraq itself is coming undone, how we got here, what went wrong, and what happens next. Written by Anonymous

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 July 2014 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

Malikki, the monster of Baghdad
16 October 2016 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

That title (or something like it) went to Malikki's predecessor; Saddam Hussein. This Frontline episode looks at the political, social and military forces and events that lead to the buildup and explosion of ISIS on Northern Iraq.

The program interviews top military and civil leaders who were involved in the Iraq reconstruction effort after our invasion there. It looks at the various phases of violence and what could be characterized as Hussein backed "resistance fighters" to our forces within Iraq.

It is long, and unlike its successor, "Confronting ISIS", is far better researched. We don't hear interviews with Bush, Obama, Cheyney, Rice, et al, but we do hear from the people they appointed to administer Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

There is an examination of the "Light Footprint" theory of dealing with Iraq, and where the documentary, like nearly all of Frontline's well researched and presented pieces, doesn't take a position on said theory, it does show the ramifications of it, and shows how those leading the Iraq effort felt the need for a reinforcement (strangely labeled "a surge" ... who comes up with these labels? How come "reinforcement(s)" wasn't good enough? Oh well...).

But in this two hour long piece, toward the last third or rather fourth of the documentary, we come to the Malikki factor. And the films shows and presents this man's efforts to undermine everything our armed forces and civilian administration had spent years in building after toppling Saddam Hussein.

The middle east, in my opinion, is still a medieval society. You have opportunists everywhere. And where we in the United States and in Europe and elsewhere have mechanisms of dealing with such people, it's clear the Middle East does not. From sociopaths to petty yet sophisticated crime syndicates, we know how to deal with them. The middle east, and Iraq in this case, does not. Ergo these people get into the power structure and destroy all of our hard work so as to make the blood and treasure we spent all for nothing.

Highly informative.

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