How we ended up with such a mess in Iraq

Both there and in Afghanistan, the US relied too much on military solutions and too little on political reconciliation, writes Haroon Siddiqui.

UNHCR Photo: N. Colt
Displaced Iraqis in a temporary shelter in an unfinished apartment complex in Erbil, Iraq this month.
Haroon Siddiqui
Published: Tuesday, 08/19/2014 1:59 am EDT
Last Updated: Wednesday, 08/20/2014 4:32 pm EDT

The United States spent eight years and $1 trillion in Iraq. It picked Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in 2006. Yet it had little or no influence on him—or Iraq. It watched helplessly as he brought Iraq to the point of collapse and ignored its pleas for him to quit.

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