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U.S. soldiers participate in a training mission with Iraqi army soldiers outside Baghdad, Iraq, May 27, 2015 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).

Emerging Neo-Feudal World Leaving U.S., Global Security Behind

Friday, May 29, 2015

As the conflict with the so-called Islamic State (IS) swings back and forth, one thing is increasingly clear: Even if Iraq survives the fight intact, there is no chance it will ever return to the pre-war status quo where the government in Baghdad controls the entire nation. Neither the Kurds nor Sunni Arabs will trust the Shiite-dominated central government to protect them. The newly empowered Shiite militia leaders also will cling to their autonomy from Baghdad. If Iraq holds together at all, it will have a titular national government in the capital while regional potentates actually run the place. Local authorities may express fealty to the national government, but Baghdad will exercise little real authority outside the city itself.

Iraq is not the only country headed in this direction. Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen are on the same track. Others may soon follow. To any student of history, this should sound familiar: In a long arc from the Sahel to Afghanistan, the world is seeing the re-emergence of feudalism. ...

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