After all the money we spent and all the lives we lost in Iraq, this current situation is maddening for so many Americans and perhaps most of all the service men and women who shed their blood and saw... See More
After all the money we spent and all the lives we lost in Iraq, this current situation is maddening for so many Americans and perhaps most of all the service men and women who shed their blood and saw their friends die during the war and are watching their hard fought gains evaporate. ABC's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny tonight. Reporter: At a flag day celebration on the national mall today, Americans are watching Iraq with a wary eye, the toll of more than a decade of war still haunting. We should have never been there in the first place. If we have a choice to either do nothing or to, again, put Americans' lives at risk, I'd rather do nothing. Reporter: But tonight, the white house is on high alert. Pentagon officials tell ABC news they're drawing up contingency plans to evacuate or protect some 5,000 American contractors in Iraq. President Obama who is intent on building a legacy of ending wars, is faced with the possibility of a new military engagement. He's ruled out ground forces. We will not be sending U.S. Troops back into combat in Iraq. Reporter: But other options are on the table, including air strikes and drone attacks. The fallout from the last Iraq war is seared into America's memory with U.S. Forces on the ground from 2003 to 2011, more than 4400 dead, more than 32,000 wounded. The estimated U.S. Costs, $2.2 trillion and counting. Iraq's implosion has revived a fierce political debate. Republicans blame the president. Unfortunately, our worst fears have been realized. Reporter: The white house is pushing back against those who say the administration hasn't acted quickly enough. One official tells me tonight, we're purposely not rushing to war here.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.