The Top 10 Iraq War Generals

While the war in Iraq is a prime debate among liberals and conservatives, and it was a hot-bed of controversy, it is a war that happened. When we look back, there have been a number of good things that happened from it. Many of the Iraqi citizens can now live in better conditions without the fear of a government that was evil.

This post is not meant to debate the Iraq War. I have my opinions, and I am sure you have yours. In today’s post, we are going to examine what I believe to be the top 10 Iraq War Generals. You may or may not agree with me. As a matter of fact, I would love to hear your opinions at the end of this article. Do keep in mind that I am not keeping this to just United States Generals. I have added and subtracted as I researched the works each of these commanders did.

In this post, I am going to start at #10 and work my way to #1. Please read my summary about each General before you develop an opinion. At the end of this post, I would love to hear your list of the top 10, or just provide your opinion on my list. While this is a debatable subject, let’s keep it to a clean debate. Your opinion counts even if it does not match mine. That is what democracy is all about.

So, here is my list of the top 10 Iraq War Generals:

#10: General Sir Peter Wall

General Wall served with the British Army during the Iraq War. Upon the invasion of Iraq, Wall was given the assignment of Chief of Staff of the National Contingent Headquarters in Qatar. In that position, he was head of U.K. operations in Iraq. Soon after, in the rank of Major General, Wall commanded the 1st Armored Division. His responsibility was security in Basra, Iraq. Wall testified in the Iraq Inquiry and stated that troops were vulnerable. Wall would always stand in defense of his troops no matter who he was speaking with.

#9: General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri

Yes, this General was an enemy. You may wonder why I put him on the list. While this may cause debate, al-Douri was really the top General of the Iraq side of the War. This General was able to evade coalition forces, and he was the top leader to create insurgency after Saddam was executed.

Some believe that al-Douri has been killed, but others believe he is a leader in the ISIS campaign.

I am not giving prestige to this man by putting him on this list, but it must be admitted that of all Iraqi leaders, he was one of the top ones.

#8: Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez

Sanchez was the commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq when Saddam was captured, and his 2 sons killed. He had to make some difficult decisions, but Sanchez held strong through his time as a leader in Iraq.

#7: General John Abizaid

General Abizaid has been quite vocal about situations in the Middle East, and Iraq in particular. He served as the Forward Deputy Commander of Combined Forces Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Abizaid was an instrumental leader in the Iraq War.

#6: General Lloyd Austin

General Austin was the Commanding General of United States forces in Iraq at the time when the U.S. Government was drawing down. He directed the operations of over 150,000 troops within Iraq, and had the responsibility of making sure Iraq troops could handle the situations upon the United States leaving. Austin is now the Commander of CENTCOM.

#5: General Sir Richard Shirreff

General Shirreff was also a top Commander in the Iraq War for the British Army. When the invasion occurred, Shirreff was Chief of Staff of Land Command. Soon after, he commanded the British 3rd Mechanized Division which deployed in South East Iraq as Multinational Headquarters.

Shirreff is now a popular military speaker, and well respected.

#4: General George Casey

General Casey was senior coalition commander in Iraq from 2004 until 2007. He was very adamant about Iraqi people taking responsibility for their own security. General Casey was a large reason Iraqis grew stronger giving the U.S. Government a better look in getting our troops home.

In 2007, Casey became Chief of Staff of the Army. In 2011, he officially retired from the Army.

#3: General David Petraeus

General Petraeus commanded the 101st Airborne Division as they made their drive into Baghdad. He led with an iron fist as his troops saw many battles along the way. His leadership in Iraq helped to rebuild confidence in Americans. Petraeus was instrumental in helping the Iraq economy and even helped to reestablish a University in Mosul, Iraq. Petraeus continued outstanding leadership in all his time in Iraq, and upon his return to the U.S., he was given the top job with the Central Intelligence Agency.

I personally will always have a lot of respect for this great leader.

#2: General Raymond Odierno

Here is another leader I greatly respect. General Odierno led the 4th Infantry Division into Iraq soon after the invasion. He had to lead with a hard hand because his troops were in the midst of those loyal to Saddam’s regime. Odierno has come into harsh criticism for his leadership style. Many believed he was downright cruel and cold-blooded. I would have been proud to be a soldier under his command. This is the leadership needed to keep soldiers alive in Saddam’s hometown.

As coalition Commander, Odierno was instrumental in creating new attitudes within Iraq. Through his leadership, the wise saying of “Give a man a fish, you feed him today; teach him to fish, feed him forever,” was put to use.

Odierno retired from the Army in August of 2015.

#1: General Tommy Franks

While many may disagree, I install General Franks at #1. He was the Commanding General when the U.S. invaded Iraq. Franks was the subject of much criticism, but when we look back, he led us through the storm with precision and a cunning leadership ability. The U.S. and coalition forces, I believe, would have had many more deaths if our troops were not in the hands of General Tommy Franks.

General Franks, if by chance you read this…may you always be blessed in all you touch, and don’t let the “haters” have a foothold. There are many of us who respect you for the great leader you were, and still are.

Final Thoughts

This is my opinion of the top 10 Generals of the Iraq War. I am interested in hearing your opinions. You can post them below along with any questions you may have. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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