As the battle of Mosul reaches its end, President Trump must decide how to proceed in Iraq. Both the U.S. and Iraqi governments’ rhetoric indicate American troops will withdraw after Mosul has been recaptured. However, that would leave the country vulnerable to Iranian influence. Iran has been able to spread its reach into Iraq via Shi’a militias loyal to Tehran. If the U.S. withdraws, Iran’s influence will be unbridled, risking more violence and fragmentation in Iraqi society. U.S troops should remain in Iraq to secure its territory and government from external threats. I have written more on this subject for the National Interest here.
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