openDemocracy’s security analyst Professor Paul Rogers argues in his latest piece that the conflict in Iraq has reached something of a stalemate.
All indications suggest that the insurgency cannot be controlled, yet Iraq is simply too important for the United States to withdraw, however deep its predicament. The oil factor, both within Iraq and especially in the wider Persian Gulf region, is simply too central to US security interests. (openDemocracy)
What this suggests is that neither the coalition nor the insurgency is capable of reconstructing a stong state in Iraq.
Indeed, US analyst John Robb argues that the war in Iraq vindicates the predictions of Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld, who believes that the modern state is an institution in long-term decline.
One factor that perhaps supports Van Creveld’s analysis is the extent to which a variety of non-state actors have migrated from other failed states. The list includes a whole range of entities connected to both the insurgency and the coalition, western PMCs/mercenaries, mercenary-linked resource companies, arms trafficking networks and of course Al Qaeda itself.