While the US obsesses about the evil that is ISIS, a greater long-term problem, festering for years, has come to a boil in front of the world’s eyes: the obvious collapse of the Iraqi state. This is of far greater strategic consequence than whether and when ISIS can be dislodged from Mosul. For without a functioning Iraq, radicalism is bound to re-emerge, just as ISIS is merely the latest iteration of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), having risen from the ashes, nurtured by Iraqi political dysfunction.
The Iraqi state, artificially created by the British in the 1920s, has never been able to command the legitimacy of its various far-flung constituenciesDr. John C. Hulsman