ISIS Iraq Situation

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Ian Lustick Professor of Political Science

School of Arts & Sciences

  • Former White House consultant on Middle East affairs and national security.
  • Has taught Israeli politics for more than 30 years.


"The modern ‘Republic of Iraq’ is disappearing in blood, fire and fear. The Shia government in the south may hold on to Baghdad and Basra. The Kurds govern the northeast. A jihadi state arises before our eyes in the Sunni areas. Murphy's Law says anything bad that can happen, will. It does not always hold. But George W. Bush and his neocon advisers have shown that when a superpower's foreign policy is based on fantasy rather than stubborn realities, Murphy's Law is our best guide to the future.

“Containing the damage and finding a road to peace and stability will require not American boots on the ground but both American and multilateral engagement across a broad front, agile and imaginative diplomacy and substantial aid to non-jihadi rebels in Syria. A key element will be our ability to work with Iran. Iran has been an adversary in Syria, but its interests as well as ours are threatened by the export of the Syrian debacle into Iraq. That could set the stage for a deal that involves American-Iranian cooperation in salvaging an independent Iraq, but one friendly to Iran, while ending the war in Syria on terms that lead to a transition from the Assad regime.”

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