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Duke Lacrosse

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Member since: Mon May 19, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Reshaping the post-Ottoman order: America must get the politics right

A thoughtful, non-partisan, and exceptionally well-written opinion piece by David Ignatius published in The Washington Post.

Excerpt:

Opinion writer May 23 at 2:38 PM
ANKARA

A tour of the war zones in Iraq and Syria with the top U.S. commander ends, appropriately enough, here in Turkey, the strongest power in the region and the place where the modern troubles began a hundred years ago with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

The abiding strategic fact about the current war against the Islamic State is that it’s part of a bigger process of reordering the post-Ottoman structure of this part of the world. We don’t know what the outcome will be or what the borders will look like; the United States isn’t even sure what it wants, as the local powers scramble for their selfish interests. But this is the big story we often miss, amid the drone strikes and terrorist bombings.

My trip with Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command , distilled two themes:

● American military power remains overwhelming. We’re still the arsenal of democracy, to use that hoary phrase, and once the American war machine gets going, it brings devastating firepower on adversaries such as the Islamic State. Now that our military is finally being employed more aggressively against the terrorist group, this enemy is in retreat and, unless we lose patience, it will eventually be shattered.

● American political power, by contrast, is limited and confused. We have conflicting goals. We talk about maintaining unitary states in Syria and Iraq, yet we’ve now created what amounts to a safe zone for Syrian Kurds and their allies in northeast Syria. As Operation Provide Comfort did for Iraqi Kurds 25 years ago, this will encourage an autonomous Kurdish zone. If American strategists have a vision to reconcile these conflicting aims, I don’t see it....

Link to the whole piece for your edification and enjoyment:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/defeating-the-islamic-state-means-getting-the-politics-right/2016/05/23/a23d90f0-20fa-11e6-aa84-42391ba52c91_story.html
Posted by Duke Lacrosse | Tue May 24, 2016, 09:54 AM (20 replies)
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