FRONTLINE Announces July 29 Special on the Chaos in Iraq

July 17, 2014
by Patrice Taddonio Assistant Director of Audience Development

FRONTLINE Presents Losing Iraq
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at 10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) | Twitter: @frontlinepbs #LosingIraq
Instagram: @frontlinepbs | YouTube:

Two-and-a-half years after the U.S. pulled out of Iraq — a conflict that is projected to cost America more than $2 trillion — Iraq is once again in crisis, with Islamic extremists gaining ground, civil war hanging in the balance, and the Obama administration being pulled back towards the conflict.

What went wrong? How did we get here? And what happens now?

On July 29, FRONTLINE presents Losing Iraq — a special 90-minute report on the war we left behind.

Drawing on one of the richest archives in broadcast journalism (including more than 40 reports on the war on terror), as well as new, in-depth interviews with policymakers and military leaders, the investigative team behind The Lost Year in Iraq, The Torture Question, Endgame and Bush’s War traces the U.S. role from the 2003 invasion to the current violence — exploring how and why Iraq itself is now coming undone.

“In reporting this documentary and tracing the history of our involvement in Iraq, it’s become clear that the crisis that’s unfolding right now isn’t the result of just one or two big decisions,” says veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk. “It’s the tragic accumulation of many mistakes and miscalculations. You see them stack up — and you see how, from the very start, nearly every step of the way, we made fateful decisions.”

In Losing Iraq, FRONTLINE reveals the key political stories behind the Iraq war’s defining moments: from the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein, to Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, to the U.S. role in creating Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government and then trying to restrain it, and to the Sunni tribal leaders and the violent rise of the radical jihadist group, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

“You can’t understand what’s happening right now in Iraq without understanding the context of the U.S.’s involvement — how the war has been fought, both deep inside the government and on the ground,” Kirk says.“With the violence in Iraq spreading, and questions about the U.S.’s involvement and responsibility permeating the national conversation, it’s our obligation and our promise to bring that context to the public in Losing Iraq.”

Losing Iraq premieres Tuesday, July 29 at at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and online at


Losing Iraq is a FRONTLINE production with the Kirk Documentary Group. The producers are Michael Kirk, Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser. The director is Michael Kirk. The writers are Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser. The reporter is Jim Gilmore. The deputy executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 65 Emmy Awards and 16 Peabody Awards. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ to learn more.

FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Press Contact
Patrice Taddonio,, @ptaddonio, 617.300.5375 Download promotional photography from the PBS Pressroom.

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