June 19, 2014

Strategy in Iraq

Pontificating while the oil fields burn.

Barack Obama told reporters Thursday, “The fate of Iraq hangs in the balance,” but the problems facing the nation must be fixed by Iraq itself. His strategy there is the same foreign policy philosophy outlined in his West Point speech. “There’s going to be a long-term problem in the region,” he said. “We’re going to be partnering with countries that share our values and our interests … rather than trying to play whack-a-mole.” America is interested in a stable Iraqi government, but Obama said several times during the press conference, “It’s not the United State’s role to choose Iraq’s leaders.” The current Iraqi administration faces deep divisions between the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. It’s hounded by the ISIL, and Iran, a backer of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, sent troops to the area, a move that could go either way, according to Obama. “Iran can play a constructive role if it sends the same message that we do.” The situation is dire in the Fertile Crescent and all Obama can do is smile from the White House podium and hope for the best. One thing is clear, he will not be “committing blood and treasure” in the country. That is his bright, red line.

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