In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
Steven Simon, former senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the National Security Council, and Barak Mendelsohn, associate professor of political science at Haverford College discuss the fight between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Max Boot argues that the U.S. needs special operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and advise Iraqi security forces. At the same time, President Obama must pressure the Iraqi government to make more inclusive reforms.
F. Gregory Gause III interviewed by Mohammed Aly Sergie
It's doubtful that radical Sunni militants will be able to overrun Baghdad and southern Iraq, but the crisis is likely to further splinter governing authority in the country, says expert F. Gregory Gause.
Authors: Max Boot and Michael Doran Washington Post
Boot and Doran argue that there is more to Iran's relationship with ISIS than meets the eye, and that cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS would in fact further the goals of the U.S.'s long-time enemy.
Katie Couric of Yahoo! News interviews Secretary of State John Kerry about the situation in Iraq regarding the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and potential U.S. actions and partnerships with the United Nations and Iran in combating terrorism in the region. They briefly discuss the State Department's oceans conference.
President Barack Obama held a press conference on June 13, 2014, to provide an update on the situation in Iraq regarding the actions of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and U.S. security assistance to the Iraq military.
"The resurgence of Iraq's Shiites is the greatest legacy of the American invasion, which overthrew Sunni rule and replaced it with a government led by Shiites—the first since the eighteenth century. Eight years after Maliki took power, Iraqis are sorting through the consequences. The Green Zone—still known by its English name—has the same otherworldly feel that it did during the American war: a placid, manicured outpost in a jungle of trouble. Now, though, it is essentially a bastion of Shiite power, in a country shot through with angry Sunni citizens."
"Though less popular than in 2010, Maliki believes he will benefit from the fear and chaos, presenting himself as the only one capable of guarding his community and saving Iraq. The sectarian conflict becomes another way of waging politics and outlasting competitors."
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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