The perpetual collapse of Iraq brings up an important philosophical debate. Is the state an ascendent or descendent institution? Let's dive into this:
If the state (and the state system in aggregate) is still a thriving institution, historical forces will conspire to drive the creation of states. States will spontaneously re-emerge if disrupted. Further, actions taken (read: invasions and regime change) against states will result in temporary chaos followed by easy and rapid stability. If the state system is in decline (ala Martin van Creveld), states will find it increasingly difficult to maintain financial viability, deliver critical services to citizens, control their borders and economy, and maintain a monopoly on violence. States that are disrupted will find it difficult, if not impossible, to re-establish order and functionality. Historical forces will conspire to defeat any attempt at reforming the order of the state.The evidence seems to point to the latter argument. States are increasingly finding themselves in perpetual disruption or complete failure. One driver of this is globalization. Globalization has diminished state power across the board ("it melts the map"). So, if we want to build a peaceful (and profitable) system that obeys a new rule set (to borrow a phrase from Thomas Barnett), the limits of state power must be a critical factor in its development. This new revised view might be appropriately called the Humpty Dumpty principle of state failure.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.