According to the U.S ministry of defense , The biggest change in Iraq is the sense of confidence and optimism that leaders have “that absolutely didn’t exist last fall,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford said after a full day of meeting with Iraqi, U.S. and other coalition leaders in Baghdad and Irbil.
Dunford noted it is almost a year since his first visit to Iraq after being confirmed as chairman; this was his fifth visit to Iraq since. The one constant has been the topic of discussion: the fight against ISIL.
“In the first few visits — July, October, even into December — I think there was a lot of angst about whether or not the support they were getting was sufficient, whether they were making the right progress on the right timeline and so on,” Dunford told reporters traveling with him. “The corner kind of turned after the first of the year, but you can really see it know where it’s not a question in their minds of whether they will beat ISIL — it’s a question of when.”
Iraqi leaders are actively planning the Mosul offensive, but they are also making sure they plan for what will happen next. Officials believe what they call the “day after” campaign will be just as important as liberating Iraq’s second-largest city from the clutches of ISIL.