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the US should act like a super power

Reader comment on item: Criticisms of the U.S.-led Air Campaign against ISIS

Submitted by myth (Germany), Sep 28, 2014 at 18:30

The US has three places of interest in the Middle-East:

  1. Turkey for it is a NATO member - like it or not. Unfortunately the US has but little influence on the islamist AKP government. On the other hand, Turkey is the natural place to launch humanitarian relief efforts.
  2. Israel for it is a Western country. Israel is fine so long as Obama does not make a speech in the Knesset, does not play golf on the West Bank. Nothing to do here.
  3. Iran for its nuclear arms efforts. The US' unique military capabilites to actually destroy the nuclear sites obliges the US to do so. In terms of priorities this is the ball bouncing the fastest and it will cross a point of no return. ISIS cutting heads live on TV would distract Western viewers from sanitized US air attacks on Iranian nuclear targets. A perfect time to get going now with minimum impact on public opinion.

On the opposite side I count at least two places the US should stay away from:

  1. Syria for it is within the Russian zone of influence. Obama should have learned that from his washable red lines. The only path of action is to pressure Russia to fight back ISIS on Syrian territory. Regarding ISIS it would be quite foolish for some NATO countries to conduct military operations in the border territory (Syria) of another one (Turkey) without reaching a common policy with NATO member Turkey first.
  2. Iraq. US military withdrawal from Iraq does imply one ruled out an option of return even if there was a good reason. Back in the old days that was called a decision. Whatever the US does in Iraq damages its credibility (make every mistake about it) not only in the region but also in the eyes of US military personnel.

In short, the US as a global super power should confront the next in line big boys such as Russia and Iran. Let militias like Hezbollah and other "chimirical" groups take on ISIS, the Assads of this world. The only blade wielding believers the US should take on itself are those who live inside the US.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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