Recent gains by al-Qaeda's main offshoot in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), are dangerous and discouraging. ISIS control of Fallujah is particularly disheartening, given the U.S. blood spilled to liberate this city in 2004. ISIS occupation of cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi in western Iraq, and Raqqa in eastern Syria, are part and parcel of a plan to destroy the Iraqi state and to create an Islamic caliphate. Important U.S. interests in Iraqi stability and regional security are at stake.
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David Palkki is the acting director of the National Defense University's Conflict Records Research Center. He also is coeditor of The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant's Regime, 1978-2001, and has published a variety of journal articles and book chapters.
Mr. Palkki previously worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee.
He holds a BA from Brigham Young University and is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has taught political science at both universities.