Before embarking on another adventure to pacify the region, the United States must understand several basic facts that seemed to have eluded the architects of the war of 2003 -- an invasion that ultimately set Iraq up for its present dilemmas.
In another generation, when a future U.S. president sends troops to occupy some intransigent country on a dubious objective, American pundits will most likely ask this familiar question made new: "Will it be another Iraq?"
The smell of blood is once again in the air in Washington -- this week for airstrikes and other forms of violent intervention in Iraq. Here are some of the many reasons airstrikes (or any other form of U.S. military action) in Iraq are just a terrible idea.
When combining Maliki's spotty record as a leader and his dismal rating since the 2011 U.S. withdrawal, you can see why the president may have concluded that sending in the jets and drones is a less desirable that it once was.