What's Happening: More U.S. Troops Ordered to Iraq
Shifting targets: Just weeks ago, there were hopes that after retaking Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, Iraqi troops might dislodge ISIS from Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Instead, the American advisers will help their Iraqi counterparts try to win back the smaller city of Ramadi, which was overrun by ISIS last month.
A grim anniversary: Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Mosul’s capture by ISIS. Residents there spoke of life under ISIS as one of both intense order (clean streets) and intense horror (public floggings and extreme punishments). The group also appears to be heavily fortifying the city in anticipation of an offensive against it.
- Russell Berman: “As he has before, the president turned both to statistics and personal stories to highlight the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. And with hundreds of Catholics in the audience, Obama made an explicitly moral argument for the law.”
- Adrienne LaFrance: “Researchers know that, like other respiratory viruses, MERS is highly contagious because it is spread through droplets—from when a person coughs or sneezes, for instance. But other mechanics of how the virus behaves are a mystery.”
- David A. Graham: “It’s like being stuck in endless sequels to the movie Taken. A carefree Republican presidential candidate heads to Europe. The voyage promises to be fun and low-key—a chance to learn and have a good time—but then everything suddenly spins out of control.”