It’s been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrection. Were it to collapse, it would lead to the largest human-induced loss of life in history. (For more on this problem, see my coverage here and here.)
The conquests in 2014 by what used to be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now known just as the Islamic State, have dramatically shown that other dams in Iraq can also pose problems, if not on so catastrophic a scale.
This unfolding catastrophe is largely to be laid at the feet of absolute lack of planning on the part of US civilian and military leadership.
ISIS did not come out of nowhere; it took a long time to build up, but apparently, no one in the US government saw it coming until it may well be too late to contain the movement in the region.