CRF Blog

The mistakes that made Islamic State

by David De La Torre

In The mistakes that made Islamic State, The Economist reviews Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror by David Kilcullen.

There is plenty of blame to go round. Mr Kilcullen’s contempt for George W. Bush’s defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, is searing. If invading Iraq was an irresponsible distraction from the real fight against al-Qaeda, Mr Rumsfeld’s insistence on a “light footprint” strategy meant that the number of troops available to contain the entirely predictable (and predicted) chaos following the removal of Saddam Hussein was “criminally” inadequate.

This was compounded by disbanding the Iraqi army and then dismantling the ruling Baath party …. [more]