According to my favorite Middle East expert, Jonathan Spyer, now Head of the Rubin Center at the IDC, Herzliya, interviewed on IBA News, we have already entered the phase of sectarian war between the Sunni and Shia in the Middle East. He recently visited Baghdad and came away with the following observations, that the Iraqi Army is a ghost army, it has neither the men nor the morale to fight and supporting it has wasted billions of US dollars; that the Iraqi Govt. is hardly functioning, there is no effective police force and few administrative functions; that the main security in Baghdad is being carried out by the united Shia militias, supported by Iran. The Head of the Govt. security is also the Head of one of the leading Shia militias, the Sadr gang. The heavy hand of Iran is increasingly evident in Baghdad.
The question of whether or not the Sunni Islamic State forces will try to attack and capture Baghdad is unclear, but whether or not the Shia militias could hold them off is even less clear. No amount of US aid or training to the Iraqi Army, short of sending in a large US force on the ground, can prevent Baghdad eventually becoming the main show-down between the Sunni and the Shia forces in their sectarian war. Also, sending in US forces would have the embarrassing result of US and Iranian forces fighting side-by-side against the Sunni extremists. Not something even the Obama Administration could rationalize.
Spyer was asked about the Iranian nuclear deal with the US and its allies and he pointed out that Iran has been spread thin because it is supporting the Iraqi Shia forces, the Yemeni Houthi forces, the Assad regime, the Hizbollah Lebanese Shia terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza, as well as supporting the world wide terrorist activities of the Iranian National Guard al Kuds Brigade. The windfall of reportedly b$150 of frozen assets that it will receive from the sanctions relief of the agreement will enable Iran to expand its activities and unleash a wave of terrorism and Iranian expansion on the Middle East and the world unlike anything that has been seen before. This will be the legacy of the Obama Administration policies.