Last week’s parliamentary elections in Iraq were widely seen as a setback for the United States. But it’s unclear how much Washington really cares. Nevertheless, the Trump administration should resist the notion that its work in Iraq is somehow finished with the military defeat of the Islamic State.
The Last Days of ISIS
As it approaches parliamentary elections next month, Iraq is not poised for either a major political transformation or massive security improvements. But the country should remain at the center of Washington’s engagement in the region, as it has the potential to bridge divides and help re-establish order.
What does the future of the Islamic State look like in the wake of its battlefield losses in Iraq and Syria? Can it sustain itself as a movement drawing in sympathizers and recruits from around the world? The Islamic State’s setbacks may not necessarily hurt the broader jihadi movement that fed it.