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The Legacy of IraqFrom the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State'$
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Benjamin Isakhan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696161

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696161.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Iraq Legacies and the Roots of the ‘Islamic State’

Conclusion: The Iraq Legacies and the Roots of the ‘Islamic State’

(p.223) Conclusion: The Iraq Legacies and the Roots of the ‘Islamic State’
The Legacy of Iraq

Benjamin Isakhan

Edinburgh University Press

This concluding chapter draws together the key arguments of this volume and reflects briefly on the three central legacies of the 2003 Iraq War and their relationship to contemporary events in Iraq. The first central legacy of the Iraq War is the ongoing consequences of several critical mistakes made by the US-led coalition before, during, and immediately after the 2003 intervention. These include the design of the de-Baathification process which failed to include a ‘truth and reconciliation’ dimension that would have allowed the Iraqi people to publicly purge the grievances of the past and might have stemmed the rapid descent into sectarianism after 2006. The second legacy is the loss of much of Iraq's fragile cultural mosaic of overlapping and intersecting communities, ideologies, and narratives. The third legacy of the 2003 Iraq War is its significant regional and global consequences.

Keywords:   Iraq War, ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, legacy, de-Baathification, US-led coalition, sectarianism

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