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Islamic State is likely to fall in Mosul. The challenge will be keeping militants out for good

Islamic State is likely to fall in Mosul. The challenge will be keeping militants out for good

As difficult as it will be to drive Islamic State from its last major stronghold in Iraq, there is little doubt that the militants in Mosul will be defeated. The question is whether they will be back one day.

Previous attempts to pacify the city, once one of Iraq’s largest and most diverse, devolved into ethnic and sectarian infighting that made fertile ground for the militants to stage a comeback. 

“We have made this same mistake at least twice in Iraq,” said Kenneth M. Pollack, a Middle East specialist at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “We don’t prepare adequately for the political context, and the...

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