Though reports out of Mosul suggest the offensive there is moving at a snail’s pace, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari talked up the continued “progress,” claiming the battle is going better than the government had expected.
At the same time, Jaafari talked up the need for continued increases in US support, both militarily and in a massive “Marshall Plan” style reconstruction program after the conflict, saying that since Presidents Bush and Obama were eager to support Iraq he expects President-elect Donald Trump will be as well.
Like the talk of progress in Mosul, this may ultimately be wishful thinking. Trump is expected to continue military action against ISIS, but his position that other nations need to pay for more of their own defense and support themselves almost certainly precludes bankrolling a massive reconstruction scheme in Iraq.
This is doubly true because the US already pumped untold billions into Iraq reconstruction once in the past decade, trying to set the nation up after the US occupation of the country, only to see the entire project implode with the arrival of ISIS.
Since the end of the ISIS war will certainly not mean an end to sectarian violence in Iraq, nor likely will it even be the last large-scale war in the country for awhile, the US probably won’t be looking to invest heavily in another reconstruction soon.