Do you think it would've helped if we kept large military bases there like we did in Japan and Germany?This is why we should have taken care of it ourselves instead of paying to train someone else to do it.
First mistake was that we disbanded their military when we initially invaded.
Second mistake was that we did not prepare for the ensuing civil conflict once Saddam's government was defeated. We did not send in enough troops to secure Iraq. We should have had at a minimum 250k boots on the ground.
Third mistake was that we did not stay long enough to allow the people time to choose what kind of government they wanted in power. We put in a provisional government temporarily, and should have stayed long enough (for several voting cycles) in order for the people to get the government they way they wanted it. Now that we are gone, the people have no control over the government because the concept of a government voted in by the people is not a concept that has been around long enough there to set in. So now we are going to see a very corrupt and directionless government which will eventually revert back to a dictatorship. We should still be in Iraq right now with a large amount of forces. Would it have costed a lot of money, sure. But I think, in the long run, it would have been cheaper then doing what we are doing now and playing this whole war of attrition game with the insurgency. Which is a war we can not possibly win. It costs us several million $ to put a warhead on a forehead and kill a few guys. It costs them a few $'s to blow a truck bomb up in the middle of a market, police station or military checkpoint. A war of attrition, is a war they will win. We would have needed to stay in Iraq for at least 20-30 years. Of course, we would be slowly drawing down the whole time just like we did in Japan and S.Korea after WW2 and the Korean war. If we had followed the blueprint of WW2 in Asia and how we handled building successful governments there, Iraq would be on its way to becoming the South Korea, or Japan of the Middle East.