The US is again into a grand illusion in Syria

American-organised units were routed; American-trained soldiers fled; American-made weapons fell into the hands of the Islamic State, the self-declared caliphate with which the Americans are now at war

Across years of war and at an extraordinary cost, the United States built an army that was supposed to prevent extremists from gaining a sanctuary in the heart of the Middle East. It had American-trained leaders, American-made weaponry and 250,000 men under arms — far more troops and firepower than any insurgent force that might emerge to challenge it.

That army was the Iraqi Army, and we know what happened next: The Syrian civil war spilled over into Iraq, extremists first found a foothold and then led an insurgency against the Iraqi military, and the extremists won.

American-organised units were routed; American-trained soldiers fled; American-made weapons fell into the hands of the Islamic State, the self-declared caliphate with which we Americans are now...

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