The United States entered 2016 amid a number of complex and growing threats. Though some risks are greater than others, these threats are increasing in danger as they become more and more interconnected.
Iraq is on fire. Again. As usual we are offered many of the same approaches to put out the fire. Some voices seem to be animated by a sense of collective guilt: We broke it; therefore, we must try and fix it, through humanitarian measures. Their more hawkish counterparts continue to advocate for kinetic military measures as the default method for dealing with the violent instability that’s rampant across Iraq. What seems to be missing from the debate is an alternative framework that acknowledges the limits of America’s institutional capacity while drastically narrowing the scope of governmental responsibility towards the region at large, and Iraq in particular.
On August 7, President Barack Obama authorized military airstrikes on strategic Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant targets, such as artillery positions, weapons caches, and enemy strong points. To me, this raises a few distinct thoughts.