Editor’s Note: FPRI is strictly nonpartisan. Its individual scholars, however, do stake out positions—a variety of positions.
If the next president decides that a relatively peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iraq is important, then there are two critical lessons to be gained from the Obama presidency.
First, even after the defeat of the Islamic State group, peace will be fragile in Iraq. The country will require strong diplomatic and financial support. Therefore, if the next president bows to domestic political pressure and abandons Iraq again, the situation will rapidly deteriorate.
Second, the best efforts of the U.S. government will be useless without a long-term – a decade or more – military commitment. The U.S. military provides rare capabilities that will be necessary both to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State group and to prevent the rise of the next vicious insurgency in this troubled land.