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Divided ArmiesInequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War$
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Jason Lyall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691192444

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691192444.001.0001

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(p.404) 9 Conclusion
Divided Armies

Jason Lyall

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the book's main findings before applying the argument to an out-of-sample case, that of Iraqi battlefield performance against the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014–2017. The war provides an opportunity to step outside the original historical evidence used to devise, refine, and test the book's theoretical propositions. Here, the seeds of Iraq's shaky performance were sown by its Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's decision to pursue an ethno-sectarian political program that marginalized Sunni and Kurdish citizens. Rather than cast an inclusionary net, al-Maliki pursued a Shia-dominated vision of the political community that relegated non-Shia to second-class status. The chapter also teases out the book's implications for international relations theory, proposes a new research program around inequality and war, suggests several policy implications flowing from the argument, and peeks cautiously at the future of war.

Keywords:   Islamic State, ISIS, Iraq, Iraqi battlefield performance, international relations theory, policy implications, war, inequality

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