As the United States approaches the twenty-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and marks the end of US involvement in Afghanistan, what of the other half of what, perhaps inevitably, have become collectively known as America’s post-9/11 wars? What lessons are most important for US policymakers, military professionals, and everyday Americans to remember from that war?

In this episode of the Modern War Institute Podcast, MWI’s Maj. Jake Miraldi talks to retired Colonel Frank Sobchak. He, along with retired Colonel Joel Rayburn, authored the Army’s two-volume, 1,300-page study of the Iraq War. They began work on it in 2013, and completed it in 2016, but it was only finally released in 2019.

Col. Sobchak explains why it’s important that the Army conducted a study like this, but he also discusses some of the reasons for its delay and why there was actually some opposition to the project within the Army. In addition, he reflects on some of the major conclusions about the US Army’s performance during the war that they drew from their research.

The study is an important piece of self-reflection for the Army, and Col. Sobchak’s comments are remarkably frank. You can listen to the full episode below. And if you aren’t already subscribed to the MWI Podcast, be sure to find it on Apple PodcastsStitcher, or your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss an episode. While you’re there, please take just a moment to leave the podcast a rating or give it a review.

Note: This episode was originally released in 2019.

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Jason T. Bailey, US Air Force