Army’s long-awaited Iraq war study finds Iran was the only winner in a conflict that holds many lessons for future wars

Army Times – A two-volume Army study of the Iraq war is a deep examination of the mistakes and success of the war effort that also takes aim at critics who would slough off the conflict as they shift to near-peer threats.

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War – Volume 1: Invasion – Insurgency – Civil War, 2003-2006

The U.S. Army in the Iraq War — Volume 2: Surge and Withdrawal, 2007-2011

Iraq’s Post-ISIS Campaign of Revenge

New Yorker – The corruption and cruelty of the state’s response to suspected jihadis and their families seem likely to lead to the resurgence of the terror group.

SOF’s Evolving Role: Warfare ‘By, With, and Through’ Local Forces

RAND – The role of U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in the Middle East has expanded steadily since the inception of the counter-ISIS campaign in 2014. In part, this expansion is due to the metastasis of ISIS into Libya, Yemen, and other countries beyond its major land-holding presence in Iraq and Syria. But the most notable feature of the expanded U.S. SOF role in the Middle East has been its work alongside indigenous forces in Iraq and Syria. Conventional and coalition forces provide additional numbers of troops. What makes this campaign so unusual is that U.S. forces are not providing the muscle of the frontline combat troops. Instead, the campaign is conducted “by, with, and through” others, a Special Forces phrase that the CENTCOM commander, General Joseph Votel, has adopted to call attention to this new way of warfighting. If the counter-ISIS campaign succeeds in dislodging ISIS from Iraq and Syria, this approach is more likely to be considered for other, similar conflicts.

America can succeed militarily in the Mideast. ISIS’s defeat in Mosul tells us how.

Washington Post – David Ignatius writes of what lessons can we take from the Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul and its coming eviction from Raqqa? The collapse of the caliphate tells us that the United States can succeed militarily in the Middle East if — and probably only if — it works with local forces who are prepared to do the fighting and dying.

ISIS has a navy? The US is sinking it

CNN – US and allied warplanes have sunk over 100 ISIS boats, destroying 65 of them in September alone, according to the international military coalition. While Iraq is nearly entirely land-locked, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that cross that country are navigable, and ISIS has been using watercraft for a variety of purposes, including transporting fighters and conducting improvised explosive attacks.\

C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons

New York Times – The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

Iraq – The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

New York Times – C.J. Chivers fascinating story on the extensive chemical weapons stores unearthed in Iraq by the US, and the casualties they caused.

Iraq – Why we stuck with Maliki — and lost Iraq

Washington Post – Former state department official Ali Khedery writes that to understand why Iraq is imploding, you must understand Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — and why the United States has supported him since 2006.

Iraq – Americans can agree that the Iraq war was a mistake

Daily Telegraph – John Nagl writes that overwhelmingly the American people would say the war was a mistake, and undeniably the reason we went to war in the first place was invalid.

Iraq – No Regrets Over Pushing the US Into War With Iraq

Washington Post – David Ignatius interviews Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who was the most effective lobbyist in favor of the 2003 U.S. invasion: “So that’s how it ends — not with a bang or a whimper, either, but with a smooth valedictory from the man whom history will record as the secret instigator of the Iraq war, for which he has no apologies and, seemingly, no regrets.”

Iraq – The Wrong Man for the Job

The AtlanticThe Wrong Man for the Job

Robert D. Kaplan on how Obama’s new ambassador to Iraq is a star diplomat—but has no experience in the Arab world. Why Christopher Hill is a bad choice.

Iraq – The New Rules: 'Hard Lessons' from Iraq, for Afghanistan and Beyond

World Politics ReviewThe New Rules: ‘Hard Lessons’ from Iraq, for Afghanistan and Beyond

Thomas P.M. Barnett writes that the recurring theme of “Hard Lessons,” the recent report by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, is that of somebody finally “taking charge.” The description is patently disproven, however, by the sheer volume of its use to describe the procession of all those who tried to do so. In fact, moving “from crisis to crisis,” and creating “ad hoc offices and systems” along the way, U.S. officials reinvented the Iraq wheel darn near annually.

Iraq – We must take on board the lessons of Iraq

Daily TelegraphWe must take on board the lessons of Iraq

As British troops head home from Iraq, John Keegan says military force should be used only as a last resort.

Iraq – The war in Iraq isn't over. The main events may not even have happened yet.

Washington PostThe war in Iraq isn’t over. The main events may not even have happened yet.

Tom Ricks provides the postscript to his new book entitled “Gamble.”