FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Despite President Obama's speech last night, the war in Iraq is not over.
In a somber address from the Oval Office, the president thanked the troops and formally ended America's combat role in Iraq after seven years.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. "has paid a huge price." And we have: including the lives of more than 4,400 troops, another 35,000-plus wounded, and a cost of more than $700 billion.
But even after all this - our commitment is not through. There are still 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for support and training. They're set to be there through next year, and sadly more of them will likely die.
In many ways, Iraq is still a mess. The country is wracked with violence and political instability. They haven't been able to form a government five months after recent elections. And they regularly suffer from shortages of things like electricity and water.
Meanwhile - George W. Bush's closest ally when it came to Iraq, Tony Blair, is out with his memoir containing emotional passages on the war.
The former British Prime Minister admits that the U.S. and britain didn't anticipate "the nightmare that unfolded" after Saddam Hussein was toppled, or the role Iran and al Qaeda would play. Blair writes he has shed many tears over the loss of life, yet "I can't regret the decision to go to war." Blair says he's devoting "a large part of the life left to me" to Middle East peace.
The thing about the war in Iraq is it seems nearly impossible to put your finger on what exactly was accomplished. The population remains divided and likely will be for centuries to come. Of course there's all that oil.
Here’s my question to you: What exactly did the U.S. gain by going to war in Iraq?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
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