Josh Rogin, in his July 13 Friday Opinion column, “The terrible deal Trump could make on Syria,” quoted U.S. military officials who said that President Barack Obama pulled out of Iraq early, leaving the fight against the Islamic State unfinished. Let’s untangle this comment. First, it was President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on false pretenses (i.e., lies), that produced the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq. The Islamic State did not exist prior to the Bush administration’s invasion. The Bush administration then poured billions of dollars into an unsuccessful effort to re-create the Iraqi army after dismantling it.

The failed effort to block and turn back the Islamic State lies squarely with Mr. Bush’s failed policies. Okay, Mr. Obama failed to clean up the mess that Mr. Bush created.

Edwin Stromberg, Takoma Park