The Lawfare Podcast: Michael Gordon on the U.S. War Against the Islamic State

By Jen Patja Howell
Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 5:01 AM

In 2014, as Islamic State insurgents took control of the Iraqi city of Mosul, President Barack Obama made the decision to send troops back to Iraq. Within five years, through the work of the United States and its partners, the organization was largely dismantled. What was the nature of the U.S. struggle against the Islamic State? Which decisions were instrumental to its success? And how did the U.S. coordinate with partners in the region.

To discuss these issues, former Lawfare associate editor Bryce Klehm spoke with Michael Gordon, a national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, about his new book, “Degrade and Destroy,” Gordon's fourth book on Iraq. They covered a range of topics, including the status of forces agreement, or SOFA, the Trump administration's counter-Islamic State strategy, and the challenges for journalists embedding with coalition forces.