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In the aftermath of the recent Taliban capture of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, ordinary Iraqis and political elites alike have been analyzing, foreseeing, and even expressing fear of a potentially similar fate for Baghdad if US forces withdraw from Iraq.
There is a view that while US forces came as occupiers in 2003, they arrived as partners in 2014 when they aided Iraqi forces in their war against the Islamic State group (IS). The US military presence in Iraq is therefore seen as a force factor that at the very least limits the return of IS and also the ability of other armed groups—and especially Shiite factions—to take over...
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