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London School of Economics
Obama strategy in Iraq, Syria hinges on long shots
Obama strategy in Iraq, Syria hinges on long shots

As the United States pivots back onto a war footing in the Middle East, President Obama's strategy is rooted in at least three basic assumptions, all of them highly questionable. In his prime-time speech Wednesday, Obama envisioned the emergence of a newly unified Iraqi government, an effective Iraqi fighting force and a reenergized, U.S.-backed "moderate" rebel front in Syria. Along with U.S. training and airstrikes, and help from international allies, those three factors would spell defeat for Islamic State militants who have made deep inroads in both Syria and Iraq. All three goals seem long shots in a region where U.S. aims have often foundered amid harsh and...

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