August 18, 2014 5:49 PM

The coming disintegration of Iraq

It is tempting to conclude that the U.S.-led regime change of 2003 inevitably led to sectarian violence by opening up Iraq’s preexisting fractures. But the deep sectarianism of the past decade was neither foreordained to follow Saddam’s fall nor completely natural in Iraqi society. It was instead a calculated objective of the powerful, mainly expatriate parties that arrived in Baghdad after April 2003.

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