It’ll be a long war: fighting IS in Iraq & beyond


Having had little ‘down time’ since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the earlier one in Afghanistan, Australia is heeding the call-to-arms of our strongest ally to take out the Islamic State. While the scope of the ‘mission’ is as yet limited to air attacks in Iraq and to training local Iraqis and Kurds, history would indicate that this ideal situation (attacking, but little threat of being attacked) will be short-lived.

From advising the South Koreans in the early 1950s, the South Vietnamese in the 1960s, the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and the Kurds under Saddam Hussein prior to 2003, conflicts that powerful nations see as vitally important have a way of taking much longer than predicted and necessitating large troop deployments. So don’t be fooled into thinking that the troops will be home by Christmas.

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