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Iraq Offers No Good Options For US
Marvin C. Ott, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, is not alone in assessing the situation in Iraq as one where “there are no good options.”

That, of course, makes it more difficult to answer the question: What should the US do in Iraq?

Ott believes the US has one choice: stay out and let the Shia and Sunni have their war. But that choice has consequences.

“One concern is that the Sunni jihadists, if not defeated, will return to attacking the US.  But the jihadist’s real enemy is the Shia – and that should be enough to keep them fully occupied for the foreseeable future.  As for Iraq, at some point exhaustion and death will produce a semblance of peace.  Whether the Iraqi state will survive is anyone’s guess.  In any case, the legacy of America’s presence in Iraq will disappear like water in the sand,” writes Ott.

Of course, the options for Iraq are even worse. The United Nations reports that as many as 1,ooo civilians died as a result of the civil war in June.

Will External Forces Bring US, China Together?
Writing in The Diplomat, Andrew Follett contends geography, global dynamics and economic interests could compel the US and China to strengthen, rather than weaken, their ties.

“Economically, America is strong in areas like food production, education, technology, and precision industrial manufacturing. China, by contrast, is strong in areas like heavy industry, light manufacturing, and cheap labor. This presents a recipe for complementary economic interdependence,” he argues, adding that the nations also “will move closer geopolitically due to their complementary energy interests.”

Time For Europe To Mind Its Own Backyard
Asserting that the limited resources require the US to focus on the more grave security threats – the Middle East, China – Zachary Keck asserts that it is time for Europe to get serious about its own defense.

“The Defense Department has already had to absorb deep spending cuts, and these are unlikely to be restored, given the expected future increases in entitlements and payments on the national debt. Furthermore, even if Congress does restore defense spending, the military will more than consume these increases in dealing with a rising China, the Arctic opening and continued instability in the Arab world.

“The only long-term solution, then, is for Europeans to take the lead in providing for their own security,” Keck argues.

In Other News
For the first time, the State Department is now publishing detailed foreign aid information, including which countries and regions are receiving most aid, on a new website.


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