Since we published the big piece from David Ignatius that primed our ongoing examination of the ISIS conundrum, two other pieces have entered the fold: Martha Crenshaw and Lisa Blaydes scrutinize Ignatius’s call for reconciliation among Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds, while Frederic C. Hof emphasizes that “protecting civilians from Assad is the first step toward the settlement David Ignatius deems essential.” A few readers join in:
Thank you for allowing me to contribute to this debate. The two actions that the U.S. must implement immediately to decisively influence a favorable outcome to the situation in the Middle East are:
1) We must make every anti-ISIS country and faction accept that they have to commit the vast majority of the ground troops needed to confront ISIS. It’s their neighborhood, not ours. Significant numbers of U.S. boots on the ground only produces negative results.
2) We must compel the current Iraqi Shia government to include the Iraqi Sunnis in the central government. This might save Iraq from eventual political disintegration and keep Iran’s influence to an acceptable minimum.
Another reader doesn’t think such Sunni-Shia integration is really possible or even preferable:
Here is the best alternative we have for solving the ISSI conundrum: Simply defend the remaining lands of the country that has been known as Iraq while ISIS consolidates its territorial gains, then broker some demilitarized zones and ersatz borders with neighboring countries.