WASHINGTON, August 8 - Five experts at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) offer analysis and commentary on the Obama administration’s decision to authorize U.S. military action in Iraq. Below are links to each expert's biography as well as recent posts on the topic.
“The actions undertaken thus far should be part of a broader campaign to roll back ISIS gains, one that includes arming and assisting Kurdish and moderate Sunni Arab forces in Iraq, carrying out additional airstrikes when appropriate, and working to build a more inclusive, post-Maliki Iraqi government.”
“While the current U.S. mission is limited and eminently justifiable on humanitarian grounds, its risks are immense. It opens the door widely to a growing American role in a regional sectarian conflict pitting the militarily potent Sunni ISIL against their Kurdish rivals in northern Iraq and Shia adversaries who control the Baghdad government and the south.”
When the F-18s Leave, Iraqi Government Formation Will Still be Unfinished
“Let’s hope that American warplanes are an accelerant, rather than an excuse for delay, of Iraq’s government formation. Only a new, legitimate and inclusive Iraqi government can oversee the political and military efforts required to stop ISIS’ advance.”
“The president promised that 'As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq.' Dropping bombs from airplanes is, of course, an act of war; the United States is not fighting another war in Iraq, but the same one that began in 1990, escalated dramatically in 2003, and did not end with the departure of American troops in 2011. Wars do not magically end when the United States redeploys ground troops from the combat theater; they end when the political objectives of the combatants are achieved, or when the combatants acknowledge that their goals are unachievable.”
“President Obama was right to make this decision, but now his challenge will be keeping this intervention limited. He must resist pressure to intervene elsewhere in Iraq, or to expand the military goals to directly attacking ISIL’s leadership.”