Tag Archives: ISIS

A New Normal for Iraqi Kurds?

Taking advantage of the power vacuum left by the flight of the Iraqi security forces from Mosul and its environs, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has sent its peshmerga fighters into large swathes of northern Iraq, most notably Kirkuk and its oilfields. These gains have given the KRG new forms of leverage with Baghdad in negotiating Kurdish nationalist demands. They also have triggered expectations of Kurdish statehood among the Kurdish population of Iraq, a long-sought goal that could be bankrolled by large-scale, independent Kurdish oil exports.

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The Geopolitics of the Islamic State

Both the West and the Gulf Arabs suggest that the terrorism that they dislike against themselves is acceptable to others. The history of their policies suggests that Western and Gulf Arab intervention leads inexorably to the creation of police states (as in Egypt) and terrorist emirates. Al-Baghdadi has announced that his vision is much greater than that of the Saudi King or the government in Tehran. He wants to command a religion, not just a region. Of such delusions are great societies and cultures destroyed.

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ISIS: The Spoils of the ‘Great Loot’ in the Middle East

Military intervention in Iraq by the United States and its allies will accelerate the divisions in the Middle East. If the White House is serious about stemming the chaos, it should stop fueling the Syrian civil war, lean on the Gulf monarchies to end their sectarian jihad against Shiites, pressure the Israelis to settle with the Palestinians, and end the campaign to isolate Iran.

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Obama Out of Options as ISIS Surges in Iraq?

Obama has been forced to chose between courses of action which all seem likely to end badly, and this is the legacy of the American decision to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003. That is the original sin of American strategic miscalculation in the 21st century, and it will continue to define the terms of its engagement with the region for the foreseeable future.

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