This week was the long awaited launch of the Iraqi military's campaign to retake Mosul. ISIL-held territory needs to be reclaimed and people need to be liberated from their oppressive rule. However, the unresolved issues that analysts raised before the campaign began is now coupled with the expectation that the campaign might take months and that ISIL will use chemical weapons in their defense of the strategic city. There are some early reports (and likely premature) that the campaign to repel ISIL is going faster than expected. But we'll take slow if it means sparing lives, planning for a viable governance structure for Mosul moving forward, and only gingerly and deferentially re-introducing two historically unfriendly parts of the Iraqi people to one another. The Iraqi state is fragile, removing ISIL is just one step in the necessary rebuilding of the Iraqi people, not just their borders.

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