One of the main prerequisites to defeating ISIS in Iraq is to determine the political future of Sunni Iraqis. The Sunnis are not prepared to make all the needed sacrifices only to benefit the Shiite government in Baghdad, which they reject and despise even more than ISIS. The Obama administration must begin, concurrently with the fight against ISIS, to negotiate the future status of the Sunni Iraqis.
The U.S. has the most powerful military in the history of the world, but it should not be utilized as a political tool or for retribution. The government and its leaders must do their best to make the right decisions, to be truthful with the American people, and to provide all the necessary support needed to fulfill the military's mission. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case.
There are strong arguments making the case for the persistence (and indeed the intensification) of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS targets. But equally there are strong arguments, less frequently heard perhaps, for why the United States should not continue, and should certainly not intensify, those airstrikes.
At the level of global affairs, there hasn't been anything like ISIS since Genghis Khan left immense piles of skulls outside conquered cities and dared the world to gang up against his Mongol horde. Genghis Khan didn't negotiate. The only word in his diplomatic vocabulary was capitulation. So too with ISIS and its dream of a caliphate of the oppressed.
Perhaps with international efforts, ISIS can be contained, weakened and driven back to its stronghold in Syria. But it isn't expected to die an easy death. Even so, its crimes against humanity demand all efforts. The Khmer Rouge, left to their own devices, murdered nearly a quarter of its own population.
Nobel Peace Prize-winning Obama is looking to one-up George W. Bush in the toppling of dictators' category as he redoubles efforts to overthrow the Syrian government. Unfortunately, Obama's obsession to effect regime change in Damascus will likely only bolster the Islamic State, which happens to be a sworn enemy of Assad the Apostate.