After several days of Iraqi hype about the progress made in the Mosul invasion, US Ambassador to the ISIS War Brett McGurk has issued a statement concurring that the war is going great, and that military victory over ISIS is only “a matter of time.”
McGurk tried to present Iraqi troops as “completely destroying ISIS,” despite the Mosul offensive being some 7 months of intense fighting and very slow going so far. Central government officials in Baghdad are eager to claim credit for a victory, but local officials are already looking past the war, and to the reconstruction.
And naturally expecting the US to pony up a large amount of cash to pay for all the destruction their airstrikes have caused in Iraq’s major cities. with local officials in Mosul estimating about $100 billion in repair costs just for their city, Iraq’s second largest.
The US has shied away from committing publicly to paying for the reconstruction, and President Trump has attacked the idea of nation-building repeatedly. Still, Iraqi officials will doubtless point out that all those bridges Mosul used to have, and that US warplanes blew them all up, which will likely be central to their efforts to get the US to pay for them.