Two and a half years after the United States withdrew its troops, violence rages unabated throughout the country. Nearly 2,000 people were killed in Iraq in June, making the month the deadliest since May 2007. The brazen success of extremist militants of the Islamic State group has highlighted the country's divisions, the weaknesses of its leaders, and the vulnerability of the Iraqi population.
In its new documentary 'Losing Iraq,' PBS Frontline investigates the country's descent into its current crisis, including the role of the United States and embattled Iraqi leader Nuri al-Maliki. The film details the many missed opportunities to address Maliki's increasingly sectarian policies and the growing Sunni-Shia divide.
"Boss we got to have a change here," Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq at the time, said to President Bush about Maliki in 2007. Bush insisted the U.S. would make it work with the Iraqi leader.
Frontline's 90-minute special was produced by Michael Kirk and draws upon the program's archive of more than a decade of Iraq reporting, as well as new interviews with military leaders and policy makers.
“In reporting this documentary and tracing the history of our involvement in Iraq, it’s become clear that the crisis that’s unfolding right now isn’t the result of just one or two big decisions,” Kirk says. “It’s the tragic accumulation of many mistakes and miscalculations."
Losing Iraq will air on PBS on Tuesday July 29 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS.