Asked if a civil war was developing there, Burns said, “It’s always been a civil war,” adding that it’s just a matter of extent. He said the current U.S. leaders there–military and diplomatic–were doing there best but sectarian differences would “probably” doom the enterprise.
Burns said that he and others underestimated this problem, feeling for a long time that toppling Saddam Hussein would almost inevitably lead to something much better.
I was talking to a believer last week, who said to understand our invasion of Iraq you need to look at a Risk game board. Iraq is “the key to the Middle East” and pins Iran between itself and Afghanistan. So you have Iran surrounded, and bases in the middle of the region. Etc.