“The US has finally intervened in Iraq because it was able to do so at little cost: there was no danger of an escalating conflict with IS, which has no means of immediate retaliation; little chance of an outcry from US or global public opinion, which broadly backs the cause; nor of diplomatic complications, since views on IS are unanimous in the Iraqi government, the Kurdish leadership and in neighbouring Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” writes Peter Harling for Le Monde Diplomatique.

“ISIS is the worst sort of regime imaginable, and may have to be eliminated or contained; but instinctive liberal antipathy for all non-democratic regimes must not get in the way of picking some kind of existing alternative power structure that can survive in the modern Middle East, and that Americans are prepared to live with,” writes the Economist.

“The problem is that the strategy fails to take into account Iraqi leaders’ record in failing to turn inclusive politics into functional governance, Isis’s proven ability to nimbly adapt to battlefield changes and the glacial pace of institutional reform in Baghdad, especially of the security forces,” writes Borzou Daragahi for Financial Times.