To the editor: This is the culmination of Colin Powell's admonishment regarding Iraq that "if you break it, you own it." Ultimately, U.S. forces left Iraq in a power vacuum with an unpopular authoritarian government and a country in disarray. ("Obama returns to the quagmire he exited in Iraq," Analysis, Aug. 8)
When such a vacuum and disarray exist, it is an opportunity for those who would use terrorism and strong-arm tactics to seize power. The slippery slope here is the possibility of a real domino effect. Left unchecked, the Islamic State marauders could spread far.
U.S. air support alone is a Band-Aid solution. This is going to require a coalition of the nations in the region willing to fight these insurgents and assurances to the Sunnis in Iraq that a new, more inclusive government will arise. We must also continue to use our air and surveillance superiority in support of the coalition fighting the war on the ground.
Michael Solomon, Canoga Park
To the editor: Instead of launching airstrikes in Iraq, the White House should be weighing in on neutrality. Not only could airstrikes exacerbate the Iraqi crisis, but they could provoke retaliation.
Even though President Obama has said that ground troops won't be sent to Iraq, nothing is written in stone. And the last thing America needs is more enemies and another war to fight.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Fla.
To the editor: I keep sending my tax money to Washington in the hopes that it will help my country and improve the lives of my fellow citizens. But someone keeps squandering it in Iraq.
I'd like to file a complaint about this situation. Whom should I contact?
Cheryl Holt, Burbank
To the editor: I found the headline of this story unfair. It should have read "Obama revisits quagmire he inherited."