Stephen Cambone at a 2004 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum over the weekend, Cambone told a panel that the decision to invade Iraq was: “one of the great strategic decisions of the first half of the 21st century, if it proves not to be the greatest.”

Brookings Institution fellow Noah Shachtman, who was the panel moderator, wrote on his blog for Wired magazine that Cambone’s observation, and his analysis that the invasion paved the way for the Arab Spring sweeping the region, “surprised” folks at the conference. No doubt.

Well, the century’s still young.