When the Americans occupied Iraq, they announced that they were going to stay there for decades, and that they would make Iraq their main base that would replace the US base of Incirlik and even that of Al-Siliyya. The United States began direct or indirect preparations to occupy Syria and then Iran. The US publicly announced its intentions because it considered both countries in the Axis of Evil.
However, the Iraqi national resistance, which began its operation on the 10th of April 2003, and with the speed of its unexpected response, undermined all plans and forced the US Administration to change many strategies in the Iraqi quagmire, ending with the exit strategy or "Cut and Run" in 2009 and culminating with the tactical withdrawal strategy and leaving Iraq for Iraqis. Both Bush and Obama administrations were able to introduce the tactical withdrawal strategy with an international legalization that cannot be objected nor considered as a result of the defeat suffered by U.S. troops in Iraq.