How Gaza impact helps ISIS v. the West....
What the WSJ editors call the Third Iraq War pits the US of A against ISIS:
The main U.S. strategic priority now should be rolling back and defeating ISIS so it can't establish a terrorist caliphate. Such a state will become a mecca for jihadists who will train and then disperse to kill around the world. They will attempt to strike Americans in ways that grab world attention, including the U.S. homeland. A strategy merely to contain ISIS does not reduce this threat.
A strategy to roll back ISIS would also make it easier to solve Iraq's political disputes. Sunni sheikhs in western Iraq won't cooperate with even an accommodating new Shiite prime minister if they know Baghdad can't protect them. Ditto for the Kurds.
Faced with desultory airstrikes by the US, ISIS is adopting the Hamas Human shield policy to deter stronger strikes:
According to officials, until now the Islamic State (IS) was behaving like a well-organized army, moving with strategic intent and pursuing military objectives. Now, officials are seeing at least a partial shift to classic insurgency tactics, as militants begin to blend in among the population, making targeting more difficult.
“One of the things that we have seen with the [IS] forces is that where they have been in the open, they are now starting to dissipate and to hide amongst the people,” Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr., director for operations with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. “The targeting in this is going to become more difficult.”
Senators John McCain & Lindsey Graham back the administration's efforts to support the Iraq political process.
We might not be in this newest pickle but for Team Obama disregarding intel warnings that ISIS is a growing threat to be taken seriously and stopped early on. What in 2004 were 21 terror groups operating in 18 countries is now 41 terror groups operating in 24 countries.
And, courtesy of Hamas winning the PR battle in Gaza despite using children as human shields, ISIS knows it can do likewise without suffering any consequential penalty in the global PR wars.
Bottom Line. Obama comes to the Iraq party late, and too lightly armed. Worse, along with senators McCain & Graham he aims to preserve a united Iraq. Far better it would be if we aimed to free the Kurds, creating a stable, well-governed American ally in the heart of the region. Such strategic vision is, sadly, lacking in not only the administration but some of its leading critics.
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