U.S. politicians have realized after 12 years that the Iraq War was unnecessary. Major potential presidential candidates have expressed their views that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

The Iraq War killed 4,491 American people. President Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, the main rationale behind the invasion of Iraq, was never proved. Polls reveal that the American people have considered the Iraq War as a failure.

According to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, it would have been a mistake to go to war even if Saddam had WMD. According to Paul, the Iraqi leader served as a counterbalance to Iran. Dethroning Saddam is responsible for many critical situations in the Middle East today, he said.   

Hillary Clinton, one of the more prominent presidential candidates for 2016, voted for the Iraq War in 2002. However, she wrote in her memoir in 2014 that the decision had been based on the information available during that time. "I got it wrong. Plain and simple," Yahoo News quoted Clinton.

George W. Bush, then president of the United States, authorized the Iraq invasion in 2003. His brother Jeb, who is likely to be one of the candidates for the Republican nomination in 2016, has been pressured to accept that his brother’s decision to invade Iraq was “a mistake.”

Rick Santorum, a possible Republican candidate, said everyone believed the Iraq War to be a mistake. Santorum, as a senator, voted in favor of the invasion as well.

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, however, said the war was not a mistake. “The world is a better place because Saddam Hussein is not there,” he told Fox News. Rubio, on the other hand, said during his appearance on "Charlie Rose" that, given an opportunity, he would not have authorized the invasion of Iraq.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker believes many politicians today would not have taken the decision to invade Iraq. He said that it was safe for many politicians to say that they would not have opted for the Iraq invasion.

Bush as well as his vice president, Dick Cheney, said that it was necessary to invade Iraq. Ousting Saddam has made the world safer, they said.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@ibtimes.com.au