Have We Learnt Any Lessons from the Dystopia of Covid Lockdown? | Iraq and the Pathologies of Primacy | Haiti’s Police in Retreat, and more

For Obama, moving on meant taking the fight to al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan through a surge of U.S. troops. Obama’s critics, for their part, soon found another reason to tell Americans to “get over Iraq”: the debacle was, in their view, making the president and the public too reticent to use military force, this time to sort out Syria’s civil war, which erupted in 2011. Obama refrained from striking Damascus, but he ended up deploying troops to Iraq and Syria in 2014 to fight the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), which emerged out of the maelstrom of the United States’ original invasion.
By 2021, it was President Joe Biden’s turn to urge the country to move on from post-9/11 debacles. “I stand here today, for the first time in 20 years, with the United States not at war,” he declared in September. Biden had just withdrawn U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The United States nevertheless continued to conduct counterterrorism operations in multiple countries, including Iraq, where 2,500 ground troops remained. “We’ve turned the page,” Biden said.
Have we? Over two decades, Americans have stubbornly refused to move on from Iraq. That is partly because the U.S. military is still fighting there and many other places besides. More profoundly, the country cannot “turn the page” without reading and comprehending it—without truly reckoning with the causes of the war. It may be painful to revisit what drove American leaders, on a bipartisan basis, to want to invade a country that had not attacked the United States and had no plans to do so, facts widely appreciated at the time. Yet without looking back, the country will not move forward with confidence and unity.

Have We Learnt Any Lessons from the Dystopia of Covid Lockdown?  (Tom Whipple, The Times)
There are things Britain could have done differently, Tom Whipple writes, but this comes with the benefit of hindsight and won’t necessarily help us tackle the next virus.

As Haiti’s Police Retreat, Gangs Take Over Much of the Capital  (Andre Paultre and Chris Cameron, New York Times)
Even wealthier areas in the capital, Port-au-Prince, are no longer immune to violence as gangs attack police officers and destroy police stations.

Skilled Migrants Aren’t Interested in Germany  (Paul Hockenos, Foreign Policy)
Germany faces a fundamental migration dilemma. Refugees from poor and war-torn countries flock to it as a haven while skilled professionals from outside of the European Union—workers the German economy sorely needs—tend to shun it. Germany’s efforts to make itself more appealing run up against deep-seated cultural affinities, which explains why a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report lists it as only the 15th most attractive country for foreign workers—just behind Portugal, Denmark, and Ireland and way behind front-runners New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland.

If China Arms Russia, the U.S. Should Kill China’s Aircraft Industry  (Richard Aboulafia, Foreign Policy)
Beijing’s aerospace future is uniquely dependent on Western companies. U.S. and EU trade sanctions could bring its indigenous aviation sector to a halt.

Rare Earths Supply Chains and Confrontation with China  (Ionut Popescu, Dan Negrea, and James Jay Carafano, National Interest)
Beijing’s industrial policy essentially pushed Western companies out of the rare earth mining and processing business. It’s time to fight back.

Ex-Spy Says MI5 Did Not Want Real IRA Leader Arrested  (Jennifer O’Leary, BBC)
A US trucker who spied on a dissident Irish republican group says the security service MI5 did not want its leader arrested. David Rupert infiltrated the Real IRA, the group behind the 1998 Omagh bomb atrocity, for the FBI and MI5. His undercover evidence was used in 2003 to prosecute Michael McKevitt, the leader of the Real IRA, for directing terrorism. Rupert told BBC Spotlight MI5 wanted to keep gathering intelligence. The program put this to MI5 but they did not respond.

2 Jewish Teens Indicted on Terror Charges for January Firebombing of Herzliya Mosque  (Michael Horovitz, Times of Israel)
Two Jewish suspects, including a minor, were indicted Friday on terror charges for recently firebombing a mosque in the central city of Herzliya. The Tel Aviv residents, aged 16 and 19, were arrested by police in the past few days for targeting the Sidna Ali Mosque in January with Molotov cocktails as an act of revenge for Palestinian terror attacks, according to a Justice Ministry statement. The suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and arson offenses. The roof of the mosque was left covered in soot due to the act.