O’ROURKE: “We will ensure that this country does not start yet another war before every peaceful, diplomatic, nonviolent alternative is explored and pursued, and those wars that we ask our fellow Americans, these service members, to fight on our behalf, 17 years and counting in Afghanistan, 27 years and counting in Iraq, let’s bring these wars to a close.” — remarks Saturday in El Paso.
THE FACTS: The U.S. has not been fighting in a military conflict in Iraq for “27 years and counting.” The Iraq war started 16 years ago.
By O’Rourke’s count, U.S. involvement would date back to 1992, in an apparent reference to Operation Desert Storm, which ended in February 1991. President George H.W. Bush launched that operation in response to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. Bush declared a ceasefire in 1991.
There was no ongoing military conflict after 1991. In 2003, President George W. Bush, the elder Bush’s son, authorized the invasion of Iraq by a U.S.-led coalition that toppled Saddam’s government. Later known as the “Iraq War,” that conflict was part of what the younger Bush described as a U.S. war against terrorism following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.