Key Points

Acknowledging that a longtime policy may have passed its sell-by date is rarely easy. Policy inertia is a powerful force, and large bureaucracies are almost always resistant to major changes in direction—especially when it comes to things like Iraq’s post-2003 political order that the United States did so much to create. But major events are afoot now in Iraq that cry out for serious reevaluation. Not only are important U.S. interests are at stake, but, as we’ve seen repeatedly in recent weeks, the lives of U.S. troops and diplomats are increasingly at risk as well. Recognizing the need for a significant shift in approach is the critical first step toward building a more sustainable and effective long-term Iraq policy, even if comes at the expense of acknowledging that Washington’s approach since 2003 has largely been a failure.

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As with previous photo sets and videos, the Taliban is training its recruits in the open during broad daylight while flying its flags without fear of reprisal.

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Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.

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Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for The Washington Times.

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Trump’s elimination of Soleimani symbolizes the end of the Obama strategy of realigning the U.S. with the Islamic Republic. But to bury that strategy, Trump still needs to end the nuclear deal fully. The arms embargo on Iran is set to be lifted at the end of this year. The expiration of other sunset clauses will be prevented only when the U.S. activates the so-called snapback mechanism at the United Nations Security Council, which would restore the international restrictions and sanctions on Iran that the nuclear deal shredded.

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Events

EVENT: Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate

October 21, 2019 | 12:00

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