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Military setbacks don't ensure Islamic State's demise

The Islamic State's loss of territory in Iraq and Syria is accompanied by opponents' cheers of a military victory — but is it really victory?
Members of the Emergency Response Division celebrate in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani - RTX3AM9I

As Mosul was liberated last week from the Islamic State (IS) after a yearlong military struggle, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi defined it as the “collapse of the IS caliphate and a grand military victory.”

But a million-dollar question still lingers: How does the government translate this military win into a sustainable political victory that will bring peace, prosperity and justice to Iraq? Minds are generally clear on what to do with IS, and why, but answers to the “how” questions are still not easy.

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