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Round 3 in Iraq: a war against terror or against corruption?

As the U.S. gears up for its third round of “coalition”-based military intervention in Iraq in less than a quarter-century, experts are questioning whether Washington can achieve anything meaningful when it comes to core political issues such as reducing corruption and reversing the slow collapse of central governments. Unlike 1990 and 2003, when Washington assembled multilateral coalitions under two presidents named Bush to battle the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, this time the enemy is a nonstate actor, the Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS, and Barack Obama is leading a very different fight, analysts say. ISIS, with its control of territory in both Iraq and Syria, is the announced target of the U.S.-led coalition but the challenge involves radically reforming politics in Iraq, where the group first emerged, experts say. And the Obama administration has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness and inability to see such efforts through to the end, they warn.