(Washington Post) David Petraeus: ISIS isn’t the biggest problem in Iraq

The proximate cause of Iraq’s unraveling was the increasing authoritarian, sectarian and corrupt conduct of the Iraqi government and its leader after the departure of the last U.S. combat forces in 2011. The actions of the Iraqi prime minister undid the major accomplishment of the Surge. [They] alienated the Iraqi Sunnis and once again created in the Sunni areas fertile fields for the planting of the seeds of extremism, essentially opening the door to the takeover of the Islamic State. Some may contend that all of this was inevitable. Iraq was bound to fail, they will argue, because of the inherently sectarian character of the Iraqi people. I don’t agree with that assessment.

The tragedy is that political leaders failed so badly at delivering what Iraqis clearly wanted ”” and for that, a great deal of responsibility lies with Prime Minister Maliki.

As for the U.S. role, could all of this have been averted if we had kept 10,000 troops here? I honestly don’t know. I certainly wish we could have tested the proposition and kept a substantial force on the ground.

Read it all.


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One comment on “(Washington Post) David Petraeus: ISIS isn’t the biggest problem in Iraq

  1. MichaelA says:

    Wise words.

    There have been times in the past when western governments have invested heavily in impressing on the governments of supported nations that political pluralism and freedoms (not necessarily democracy) are vital if they want to defeat insurgencies. We seem to be less focussed doing so these days – I wonder if that is because the western governments are less focussed on listening to their own people?