This analysis by General Petraeus, who  took charge of the US 'surge' in Iraq, is worth taking the time to read. He says, inter alia,

I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State; rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by — and some guided by — Iran. 

....I am also profoundly worried about the continuing meltdown of Syria, which is a geopolitical Chernobyl. Until it is capped, it is going to continue to spew radioactive instability and extremist ideology over the entire region.

I don't quite understand why General Petraeus fears the Shia militias and Iran more than IS or ISIS, since once it was decided to remove Saddam it was inevitable that Iraq would be Iraq's satellite. 

Perhaps we should leave Iraq to Iran to sort out, possibly with the help of Russia?

Had we not toppled Gaddafi would Assad have contained and defeated the Syrian rebels? I wonder. But that is in the past. 

As AJP Taylor said, we learn from the mistakes of the past how to make new mistakes.

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