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daily 06/26/2014

    • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki doesn’t want to share power, the Kurds don’t want to give up a shot at independence, and the Sunnis would rather stick with murderous jihadist protectors than trust a Shiite government that shuns their demands and persecutes their leaders.
    • Maliki knows that the countries most keen to beat back the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria—especially Iran, the neighboring ally that counts most—have no choice but to support him for now.
    • To the extent they’re able to hold their territory, they do so because local Sunnis—who dominate the areas conquered so far—prefer ISIS to Maliki’s Shiite government.
    • Simply bombing ISIS strongholds won’t do the trick. In fact, military action alone will only further alienate the Sunnis—and reinforce the notion that America serves as Maliki’s air force.
    • Advocates of American military action worry that an unchecked ISIS might someday launch terrorist strikes against the United States or Western Europe. Maybe so. But another way to inspire such attacks is to bomb ISIS positions (and probably kill some Sunni civilians in the process) while doing nothing to reform Iraqi politics.
    • n other words, the center will figure out what’s going on—the state of the battlefield, the strengths and weaknesses of ISIS (and of the Iraqi security forces)—and what, if anything, we (or someone else) can do to make things better.
    • Obama isn’t likely to order U.S. airstrikes, but his intelligence agencies could provide targeting data to the Syrians (and other neighbors interested in getting involved), so that their airstrikes can be more effective.
    • Maliki’s disenfranchisement of Sunni Arabs sowed the fertile soil for ISIS exploitation. Re-enfranchising Sunnis will do more than any number of smart bombs to loosen its grip.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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