There Are Four Iraq Wars

I found this article on Slate to be interesting. Here is an excerpt:

“Thanks to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, I now have an answer: Our strategic stagnation results from the fact that we are fighting four wars, not one. According to Gates: “One is Shi’a on Shi’a,
principally in the south; the second is sectarian conflict, principally in Baghdad, but not solely; third is the insurgency; and fourth is al Qaida, and al Qaida is attacking, at times, all of those targets.” The multifaceted nature of these four wars has frustrated American strategy since 2003. Successes in one area produce setbacks in the others, with al-Qaida hovering above the fray to spoil progress whenever it threatens to bring stability to Iraq, as they did by bombing the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra in February 2006 after the successful Iraqi elections. Consequently, any strategies implementing the “
counterinsurgency playbook,” smart as those plans may be, will necessarily prove insufficient because we aren’t just fighting an insurgency anymore.”

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