For Bush, the war ended right around the time he flew onto the deck of that aircraft carrier and said, "Mission Accomplished." The war for Bush was an event, not a fact. It was a few extra lines to throw into a campaign speech. His wish for his legacy was to be able to proclaim that he ousted both the Taliban and the Baathists and got some juicy payback on Saddam's Arab heiney. Unfortunately for him, the actual prosecution of the war turned out to be longer than a photo-op. We quit fighting this war properly over a year ago. The Bush Administration has tried to ignore the actual fact of the war and the outcome is now anything but certain.
Most of the neo-cons are afraid their agenda will look bad if Iraq ends like Viet Nam. The stakes are much, much higher than that. If we leave Iraq swinging in the wind, the crazies in Iran, Syria, and North Korea will no longer have any reason to pause in their planned annihilation of their respective enemies. After all, there is nothing to fear from a paper tiger.