Welcome to Liberty.me’s The Charm Offensive. We tried something different with this series edition: a round table discussion with a panel of American combat veterans that once served during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom.

During this chat (and future discussions), we will cover topics involving national security, the War on Terror, foreign intervention and domestic security issues from a veteran’s perspective. Americans are tired of listening to talking heads sponsored by mainstream media elites and so we bring real people to discuss real issues that impact us all.

For round one, we cover the current situation in Iraq, the rapidly developing crisis in the region as ISIS, an Islamic extremist group, continues to sweep through cities and challenge the security of Iraq’s fragile infrastructure. Americans fought hard in the same areas now overrun by the very extremists they were told they were sent to fight. As many are aware, after Iraqis in Anbar province joined with U.S. forces to oust extremist factions of Al Qaeda, many hoped the region would stabilize. But as many experts warned, Washington, once again, was wrong. And so here we are, watching as the region careens toward civil war.

How do Iraq War veterans feel about this? Let’s find out.

Question Guide: 

[4:25] In your opinion, what did the American people accomplish by toppling Saddam and occupying Iraq? (Right to left: 1-2 minutes each to respond)

[9:35] What is it exactly, if you can be specific, that you feel we provided as far as infrastructure that still stands or maybe has a legacy in the future.

[13:24] What were the most successful strategy of the war and who or what made that strategy or policy initiative succeed? (1-2 minutes to respond)

[19:14] Question C: What was the most detrimental or counterproductive policy iniative, who was responsible for that initiative becoming policy and what should have been done differently? (3-4 minutes to respond)

[28:26] (Question asked by My-kel)  In your opinion, has the idea of implication of counter-insurgency, in regards to how the United States DoD implements it, has that failed or have we just not figured that out yet?

[30:11] Question D: During your time in Iraq interacting with the Iraqi people, what impression did you gather about their ability to cooperate under democratic rule?

Please join us next time for round table discussions on these matters that are important to the American people and veterans. Please like, share and subscribe.