Winter is fast approaching and displaced Iraqis are in need of adequate shelter. A hunger winter could be facing millions of Iraqis. The international community needs to plan adequately to respond to this growing emergency in the Middle East.
Decades of entrenched autocratic mismanagement and abusive rule in the Middle East and North Africa cannot be erased overnight. Similarly, they cannot be reversed by foreign intervention.
There is a common refrain these days voiced by politicians who want to blame President Obama for ISIL. It is an extremely shallow argument. But it's a convenient one for those who do not like Mr. Obama, his leadership style, or his foreign policy in the Middle East -- or all three.
Why do these things continue to pop up? Why do people continue to kill in the name of some larger purpose, whether it be nationalism, god, or justice?
It's unlikely that this intervention will ever look like Bush's war in Iraq, which peaked at over 160,000 troops and a comparable number of private contractors. But if the mission is truly an open-ended effort to "degrade and destroy" ISIS, it is virtually inevitable that more U.S. troops will be sent to Iraq, and that some of them will take on combat roles.
Fighter jets and jails are the problem that shattered the modern Arab world, and they cannot be its solution. Quick military actions will certainly slow down and roll back ISIS in many areas, and the immediate danger is likely to be blunted. But if history since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the U.S. in the Gulf and Iraq since 1991 is any guide, chaos looms again.
Minimizing risk at reasonable cost is the action of a sensible man or nation. Trying to eliminate all risk at any cost -- not only financial, but also of principle -- is the action of a man or nation that has become obsessive, compulsive, scared, or all three.
Today, on the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is clear to me that the cowardice evinced by the president is directly proportional to the never-ending 9/11 fear mongering that continues to paralyze and retard this country.
Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries and took office on the premise that he would wind down America's role in Middle Eastern and Central Asian conflicts. But his legacy will be the contrary.
Obama is trying to walk a very fine line between doing nothing and all-out war. He will be counting on others to do the ground fighting, which may depend on how much support America gets from regional allies. The end game of this limited warfare is going to be hard to see, however.
In 2014, I find myself on a new journey at Team Rubicon, still influenced by 9/11. I find myself surrounded by men and women that embrace the notions of courage, resilience, citizenship and commitment. These men and women did not stop serving when they took off the uniform.
Peace is the future: the title given to the great annual interreligious meeting organized this week in Antwerp by the lay Catholic Community of Sant'E...
We can't forget that the security interests of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and our NATO allies are threatened by ISIS to a much greater extent than our own. We should insist that they step forward, provide people and resources to the fight, and, most importantly, publicly align with the emerging anti-ISIS coalition.
I worried about when and where my daughter would choose to wear the dress. I feared women from the Middle East might assume my daughter viewed the gown as a kind of costume that appropriated their culture. But for my child, I think the dress just symbolized selfhood.
Questions abound as President Obama prepares to address the nation tonight on a strategy to combat the terrorist group ISIL. One of them can be addressed right now. That is: Will the U.S. be alone in its efforts to restore stability in Iraq and Syria? The answer is a resounding no.
As an American citizen who one day hopes to become a public servant and who frequently monitors our nation's foreign policy, I continue to wish you and your colleagues in the State Department, Pentagon, and intelligence community the best of luck. America's security depends on the efforts that you make in the weeks ahead.