“Now would be a very good time for U.S. President Barack Obama to think about what happens after Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, is liberated from the Islamic State.
U.S. military leaders are openly talking about an imminent offensive on a city of more than a million residents who are widely distrustful of the Baghdad government. It’s unclear whether the projected front-line troops for the invasion are up to the task; there seems to be no comprehensive plan for what happens after the fighting stops.
Michael Knights, an Iraq expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he did not think it was likely that Shiite militias or Kurdish forces would attempt to ethnically cleanse Mosul, a la Amirli. But he does feel there is a disaster in the making if a retreat by the Islamic State leaves a power vacuum. “The politics of liberating Mosul have to…
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