ISIS

How to Keep ISIS Terror from U.S. Shores

We can spend the next few years beating ourselves up and debating the proposition that George W. Bush saved Iraq and Barack Obama lost it. Or we can get real and try to sort out what we can do now to protect U.S. interests in a region that's melting down.

Iraq was never the U.S.'s to win. That point -- along with lowered expectations and focused goals -- must be the basis of any new approach to the region. And here are three reasons.

Iraq Needs to Stop Trying to Make 'Inclusive' Happen

Want to see what futile U.S. foreign policy looks like? See Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Baghdad and Kurdistan earlier this week.

President Barack Obama has sent a small number of militaryadvisors to Iraq and bolstered the defenses of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, but the White House has made clear that it believes the only solution to Iraq's spiraling civil war is political. "Only leaders with an inclusive agenda are going to be able to truly bring the Iraqi people together," Obama has declared, with Kerry picking up the refrain at all meetings duringhis recent trip.

Iraq’s House of Cards: The Primary Mission

On Friday, a new report by the International Crisis Group, an independent research and policy institute, bluntly warned of both the political and military challenges in Iraq. Under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the report declared, “Parliament has been rendered toothless, independent state agencies shorn of their powers. Ministries, to an unprecedented extent, have become bastions of nepotism and other forms of corruption; the severely politicized judiciary represents anything but the ‘rule of law,’ with even the Supreme Court doing the government’s bidding.”

Don't Let ISIS Distract from al Qaeda Threat

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a disaster with momentum – we have every reason to fear that they’ll gain more ground, and little reason to hope that the Iraqi government has what it takes to beat them back. But while we watch Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s demotion to “mayor of Baghdad” with horror, let’s remember who (and what) our enemies are.

Who Lost Iraq?

Americans love keeping score. We love lists, ranking presidents, and Top 10s in just about every category. And we particularly love trying to figure out who won and lost things.

In foreign policy, this has devolved into by now the well-established "Who Lost What" game. And we've played it now for over half a century. Take your pick: who lost China, Vietnam, Egypt, Ukraine, Syria, the war on terror, and now Iraq. Part of this process, of course, is that we love beating up whomever we peg responsible for putting up an L rather than a W -- Democrats, Republicans, even ourselves.

A Third Iraq War?

The United States now faces the possibility of its third intervention in Iraq. On paper, the two earlier wars quickly achieved their military goals. In 1991, a muscular alliance of thirty-four nations, led by the United States, forced Iraq to withdraw from the tiny city-state of Kuwait in a mere six weeks. In 2003, President Saddam Hussein, after twenty-four years in power, fled Baghdad just three weeks after a token “coalition of the willing” invaded.

Whatever Happens Next, Iraq Won't Be the Same

The quick advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters through Mosul and Tikrit to positions within 50 miles of Baghdad has brought to the fore the deep divisions in the country and the lack of loyalty most Sunnis and Kurds feel toward Baghdad. Indeed, even if support from the United States and Iran succeeds in shoring up the disintegrating Iraqi army and stopping ISIS's advance, the reality is that the days of Iraq as a unitary country that can be ruled by a powerful government in Baghdad are over.

10 Dangers in the Iraq Crisis

The Iraq crisis–alas, how to count the calamitous ways! Here are the top 10:

1. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has become the most aggressive and ambitious extremist movement in the world. It is also the most deadly and the most accomplished, dwarfing al-Qaeda in influence and impact. And under current conditions, it looks largely unchallenged.

Iran and the U.S.: The Enemy of My Enemy

On Monday, Iran and the United States, along with envoys from Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia, will meet again in Vienna to work on specific terms for a nuclear agreement. The talks resume just as Washington and Tehran suddenly find that they have common cause in preventing Iraq’s abrupt disintegration. For both, their longtime strategies toward Iraq appear to be failing, as a few thousand thugs in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) burn their way across the country.

Five Pakistani Militants We Should Be Paying More Attention To

When it comes to Pakistan’s bad guys, leaders of the country’s major militant groups—such as Hafiz Saeed of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Mullah Fazlullah of the Pakistani Taliban—tend to hog the headlines.

Many more are less well known—yet still highly consequential. Five in particular are worth singling out—not just because they threaten stability, but because they foreshadow Pakistani militancy’s future trajectory.

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