Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. (Reuters photo)

Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.

Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.

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Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.

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President Bush, left, sits with outgoing Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, right, before the start of their meeting with Senior U.S. Department of Defense Officials on Iraq at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006. (Associated Press/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Army's massive history of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, comprised of two massive volumes and 30,000 pages of declassified documents published by the U.S. Army War College, is a stunning survey of the service's missteps following the 2003 invasion.

But it also provides a clear-eyed look not just at the course of the invasion, but the state of the U.S. political and military apparatus in the run-up to the September 11th attacks — and the hubris that tilted the Pentagon towards invasion.

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Lots of people want to be ski instructors at the Okemo Mountain Resort. Nobody gets rich doing it, but there are perks, including a free season pass and half-price meals at the Sitting Bull Bar & Lounge. Named one of the best places to work in Vermont for five years running, Okemo employs more than 400 instructors, who run “a really wide gamut,” according to Chris Saylor, the school’s director. So when a 74-year-old retiree applied for the gig a few years back, Saylor didn’t think much of it. The man skied well and had a friendly, patient demeanor. He also seemed to embody the company’s core values: safety, service, sustainability and teamwork.

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ABC News

Robbie Frei was 3 when his father, Jason Frei, was injured during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A Marine artillery officer, Jason was riding in a Humvee when the convoy was ambushed outside of Nasiriyah. He was struck with a rocket propelled grenade in the attack and lost his right hand.

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Air Force photo

In case we needed reminding of just how crucial a role the A-10 Thunderbolt II has played on the post-9/11 battlefield, a ‘Warthog’ pilot will soon receive the Silver Star for braving enemy ground fire to help beleaguered American forces carve a path to Baghdad during the opening phase of the Iraq War, Air Force Times reports.

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