Sailors prepare weapons to upload onto an aircraft on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)
August 08, 2014 by Frederic C. Hof * - atlanticcouncil.org
On August 7, President Barack Obama authorized both airstrikes and humanitarian relief in response to attacks launched by the ersatz caliphate of the criminal enterprise calling itself the Islamic State (IS). The proximate cause of US military intervention is a looming humanitarian catastrophe centering on a vulnerable Iraqi minority (the Yazidis) seeking safety from IS on the slopes of a mountain. But legal cover for the action was provided by the president’s assertion that IS forces “have neared the city of Erbil [the capital of the Kurdish Regional Government], where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.” This decision to intervene in the face of IS terror and mass murder is appropriate and welcome. Inevitably, however, those who have called for a similar humanitarian intervention in Syria—where the depredations of the Assad regime and IS alike dwarf what is happening in Iraq—will wonder why Iraq and why not Syria.
Read full article
* Frederic C. Hof is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.