"Sunni extremists' efforts to stir sectarian strife through brutal atrocities against Iraqi Shia will no doubt make the Iraqi government and the country's majority Shia population more amenable to overt Iranian assistance and influence in the country. But they were already fairly amenable to begin with: Maliki has already demonstrated as much by pursuing anti-Sunni sectarian policies that helped fuel support for ISIS to begin with. And his long-standing ties to Iran are likewise no secret; many attribute his resistance to a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq after 2011 to Iranian influence. To think that any outcome in Iraq would leave Iran without considerable influence is foolish. But with ISIS gains threatening to lead to a de facto partition of the country, Iranian influence might actually be more contained than it has been in recent years," writes Dalia Dassa Kaye in Foreign Affairs.
"The critical criterion for supporting a foreign group of fighters or politicians is local legitimacy, not 'moderation' defined in distant lands. But legitimacy is an issue that the United States, Iran, Arab powers and all foreign armies ignore as they march into battles in foreign lands. This is why they leave behind such ravages and chaos when they march home a few years later, staggered and bewildered at the furies they encountered and the sandstorms and cultural forces that momentarily blinded them," writes Rami G. Khouri in the Cairo Review.
"Iraqis from all sects and ethnicities will be stupidly self-destructive if they don't come to terms with one another quickly. They still have a chance to reverse course, reallocate power and repair political rifts in a way that Syria almost certainly cannot if Mr. Assad stays in power. They also have international interest in helping make it happen, as controversial as any form of outside diplomatic or military assistance may be. The alternative is the Lebanon situation, in which politics was hijacked by warlords, security forces were marginalized by law-defying militias, the economy survived off smuggling, and daily life was Darwinian," writes Robin Wright in the New York Times.
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North Korea Offers Conciliation After Firing Missiles
White House Seeks to Speed Deportations and Bolster Border Security
President Barack Obama is expected on Monday to ask Congress to grant him authority to speed deportations (LAT) of thousands of Central American children arriving at the southwest border and approve $2 billion in emergency appropriations for border enforcement and humanitarian assistance. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss the migrant influx with the leaders of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala on Tuesday.
This CFR Timeline tracks milestones in U.S. immigration policy.