Obama may be tired of war, as were Hitler’s enemies. But the Islamic State is not tired of war. It has been explicit about its intentions. The lessons of history are clear.
There’s always been appeal in slogans; Madison Avenue bets the bank on that every year. But they’re not much of a guide when it comes to foreign policy. And inevitably, what sounds good one year doesn’t work that well the next. Consider General Powell’s “Pottery Barn Rule”, a poor excuse for a pseudo-policy in an arena where standards are remarkably low already.
Syrian President Bashar Assad winning the Syrian civil war is akin to dying of a heart attack, but a Syrian opposition victory is the equivalent of dying from cancer. Unfortunately, the time for preventive medicine was more than three years ago.
The horrific images and story of 14 murdered soldiers that came out of Yemen on August 8 pale in comparison to those coming from Iraq and Syria. Yet they may presage the emergence of a renewed threat from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that the U.S and Yemen are ill-prepared to handle.
We invite you to tune into this Google Hangout conversation during which AEI foreign and defense policy scholars will discuss the implications of ISIS’s rise and the effect of US airstrikes thus far in Iraq.
Currenly Asia appears peaceful in comparison to Ukraine and the Middle East. However, behind this facade of stability, China's assertive maritime behavior is reshaping power dynamics in the region.
Obama’s willingness to reengage in Iraq is admirable, but until he crafts a coherent strategy, he will be doing little more than using American pilots to kick the can down the road.
Calming the maelstrom in the Middle East is the project of decades, maybe centuries. It is not our project alone, but we have interests, both moral and security. The United States needs to reengage, and fight for the principles that animate us. No, not with boots on the ground for God’s sake, but with consistent and principled vision.
President Obama has returned to Iraq with the same slogan that paved the way for his departure: “There is no military solution.” It was misleading then, and it’s misleading now.