Mr Obama proclaimed in a speech to cadets at West Point that isolation is not
an option and that regional aggression cannot go unchecked.
He also made clear that terrorism, particularly of the radical Islamist
persuasion, is the most direct threat to US interests and security.
In the days since ISIS militants swept into Iraq and seized major towns and
cities, the president has overcome his reluctance to re-engage in the Middle
East and is considering military options to support Iraq and try to re-establish
the authority of the state.
Even a limited military action, such as airstrikes against the militants or
fast delivery of supplies and advice to the Iraqi forces, can help bolster the
confidence of the regime and send a powerful psychological message to the region
as a whole.
It’s important to frame this not just as support for the deeply flawed prime
minister, because the prospect of ISIS-controlled territory in the heart of the
region means that US interests and those of key friends and allies are at risk.
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