At a national security forum in Davenport, Iowa, on Thursday, the moderator asked Jeb Bush about his comments linking the rise of Islamic State to the withdrawal of most troops from Iraq in 2011, pressing him on whether the real problem wasn't invading Iraq in the first place — a decision undertaken by Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush. "Look, who knows?" Bush said. "That's such a, you know, complicated hypothetical.... I'll tell you, though, that taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal."
If you want to know Bush's thinking, Bloomberg Politics picks up the thread:
The problem, Bush insisted, was that President Obama squandered the "fragile but secure" peace his brother had fostered in Iraq by late 2008. In terms of Iraq's security, the "mission was accomplished," Jeb Bush said. "You can't rewrite history in that regard."
After months of wrangling over how to talk about the Iraq War, Bush "has settled on a strategy: unapologetically arguing that the war, however misconceived, brought about an opportunity for a more stable Middle East, one that the current Democratic administration squandered," explains Politico's Eli Stokols, adding: "With 17 of his 21 foreign policy advisers being veterans of George W. Bush's White House, Bush's position is no great surprise."