I never wanted war in Iraq. But I went, and I met good people—Americans, Iraqis, Kurds, Canadians, Brits, Aussies, Italians, Estonians, Tongans, more—who worked very hard to forge some kind of peace among the peoples there, to clean up our messes. To think that the march to upend Saddam could ultimately result in an Al Qaeda-esque caliphate is irony and tragedy enough to make my brain explode.

In October 2003, just months into two wars that would stretch for decades, Donald Rumsfeld sent around a memo full of uncharacteristic self-doubt.

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?

You've got your answer, Don. Dissuading was never our strong point. Thanks for the memories, and for the jihadis.