Monday, July 25, 2016

deja vu in Iraq

There's a huge difference between winning a battle and winning a war, especially since warfare has political objectives. Nobody denies that, but few military and diplomatic officials understand how to turn military success into strategic victory. America failed in 2003 in Iraq when inadequate planning and major mistakes like peremptorily disbanding the Iraqi army and government led to the insurgency. America failed again when the Maliki government crushed its opponents and politicized the armed forces. And now, McClatchy reporter Hannah Allam argues, there is no guarantee, no plan in the works, that would lead from a military victory over ISIL with the recapture of Mosul, to a stable Iraq.  That really should be the highest priority of the political-military planners, and I know it's a wicked hard task. Outside powers have leverage now, before the big battle, so it should be used.

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