Iraq may not have the will to survive – and that’s not even the biggest problem

Airy talk of sending in troops distracts us from the hard work and tough thinking necessary to secure the international order

War is a contest of wills. Although determination alone does not guarantee final victory, its absence makes defeat all but inevitable.

Way back in the 1770s, Britain lost most of its north American colonies because rebellious Americans cared more about gaining their independence than George III and his ministers cared about preserving their empire. Today, if Isis fighters care more about creating their caliphate than Iraqis do about preserving their country, then Iraq may be doomed.